Planning for Milestone 9
"Hey", you are thinking to yourself, "you're only on Milestone 5, why in the world are you starting a thread about Milestone 9????!!!??"
Good question. Here is the answer. In a roundabout way....
A number of times in the past I've railed against the concept of a Design Doc. The basic reason was that, by it's very nature, it locks you guys out of the development of the game. All the base decisions are made when writing the thing, and it pretty much becomes the bible for development. And that's a concept I hate (the part about you guys not being able to contribute). So, for a long time, we didn't have one. And in actual fact, I think that was a good thing. If I had written a DD right at the start, MD would be a whole different game, and not nearly as good a game, for that matter.
But let's face it, ultimately I was wrong. It may have been good to have the game in an evolving state for a while, but at some point we needed to lock it down and say "THIS is going to be the game". Having a DD was the best thing that ever happened to MD. It keeps me focused. It keeps me from burnng out because there is a clear light at the end of the tunnel (even when we are far from it). It keeps feature creep from happening. It keeps things *moving forward*, and that's important.
But, it does keep you guys out of the loop. And I still hate that.
Well, here's your chance to get back in The first item in the M9 overview table is "Technology Data Input". M9 is all about the research screen. And for that, we need to know what technologies will be there to be researched. And that's where you guys come in. It's not too early to start thinking about this. In fact, we are probably a bit late.
You are still going to be constrained by the DD. I'm not putting in any systems that are not already listed in the Milestone Overview section, so you can't suggest any technologies that lead to systems that are not already there (although I admit, the overview can be vague, so if you need clarification on anything, do feel free to ask).
The format is going to be thusly:
There will be some number of catagories (originally I had planned on 8 of them, but that's not set in stone). In each catagory there will be some number of breakthroughs. Each breakthrough will have some number of advancements. What the exact catagories are I'm going to leave open for the moment until we start to see patterns in the technologies.
The catagories are just there for organizational purposes. Players don't research a "catagory" nor are they a prereq for anything. They are just there to give the player a tool to keep things from getting too overwhelming. Basically you get one research tree per catagory.
Breakthroughs are things players research. They do not give out a toy of any sort (I'll define "toy" in a bit). A breakthrough may have another breakthrough as a prereq, but it should not require any advancement to be finished in order to research the breakthrough. Breakthroughs form the backbone of the research tree (the branches). Every breakthrough should, at a minimum, have at least one advancement that it is a prereq for (otherwise, what is the point of the breakthrough?).
Advancements always have at least one breakthrough as a prereq. They may have more. They may also optionally have other advancements as a prereq. All advancements give out ONE "toy" to the player. Advancements are the leaves in the research trees.
Research is done by the players via research points (determined by your cities, buildings in your cities, and leader skills [and maybe a couple of other misc things]). You can select any breakthrough or advancement to study as long as you have the prereqs for it. Once you have invested enough research points into a particular breakthrough or advancement, your Civ gets that credited, which gives them a new toy (in the case of an advancement) and/or fulfills prereqs for other breakthroughs/advancements.
You get one (and only one) toy for every advancement you research. Toys fall into a number of catagories, but in general are always something the player can use in some way in the game. They are (if I don't forget any catagories):
Resource Type: Gold, Oil, Coal, etc. Causes the appropriate resource stacks to appear on the map and allows the player to begin collecting that resource.
Unit Template: Tank, Ship, Warrior, etc. Gives the player a blank template which they use to design their units. Each template has a set of characteristics and types of components that fit into that template.
Unit Component: Machine gun, Diesel Engine, Body Armor, etc. Gives the players items that they can put into their templates when designing new unit types.
City Building: Things players put into their cities which modify the city characteristics (may give more research points, or allow building of certian types of units [e.g shipyard], or add to defense [walls, AA batteries], etc).
Landscape Item: Things you build not within cities that modify the landscape (roads, bridges, dams, oil platforms, bunkers, etc).
Leader Skill: Allows you to train you leaders with new skills, which in turn modify what they are capable of doing.
Espionage Mission: Adds new types of espionage missions (sabotage, technology theft, and so on).
I think that's all of them.
Now, a lot of this I will design myself (that is, after all, part of my job), but by all means I'd love to get input from y'all. If you have an idea for a technology, send it in!
When thinking about a technology, ask yourself:
1) Is this a breakthrough or an advancement?
2) What are it's prereqs?
3) What sort of toy does it give out? Why? (i.e. does the toy make sense with the given advancement?).
4) Does it fit within a given catagory? If not, perhaps it is the beginning of a new catagory?
Alright, I'll stop here and let you guys get to thinking about it.
Last edited by RonHiler; 08-26-2008 at 01:08 PM.
"They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian ... They're not laughing now." - Bob Monkhouse