Improving The Single Player Game

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TheGrayMouser
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Improving The Single Player Game

Post by TheGrayMouser » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:10 pm

FOG has been out for a year and 4 months now and I am wondering if the developers will consider improving the single player experience. My guess is the vast majority of players play almost exclusively vs the ai and only occasionally foray into MP. (just check out the stats page and you can see some players have topped over 1000 games vs the A)
I personally feel I need something a little more for the single player experience to justify additonal expansion pack purchases. (ok, I am sold on the next three whatever is done)

The following are some simple things I have thought of(simple meaning they should be easy to implement and some are really just bugs)


* allow portable defences and camps in user made scenarios
*hotseat dag battles, to go even further, allow a player to select a premade army for the AI to use (problem w the random armies the Ai builds is it maxes out leaders and always uses the most powerful cavalry units and ALWAYS deploys these Bg’s behind the lines , very predictable and weakens the AI) Better a human build the AI army
*scenario editor: fix the obvious bug where one cannot create allied leaders and assign units to these leaders using the editor (the architecture is there so ergo, it is a bug). Per experienced designers you can do this by hand altering the scenario data files, but that is not ideal.
*implement the ability to select the rout direction of Bg's (appears is there but doesn’t work)
*allow BG’s to be set at less than their full % strength at the start of a scenario (also allow them to start disrupted/fragged)
This would allow campaigns games to count attriton, understrength units etc , for units starting with cohesion hits could represent unready toops ambushes ect . Could be used in a # of other clever ways as well. (for example, could make all leader units light cavalry set at 50% strength so they can zip about providing command functionality but will get clobbered in combat , as they only represent a commander and a small escort)

Trying to be realistic about such a list , so I didn’t add in a full fledged campain game

Any thoughts , anyone, Bueler…. Bueler…..

maximvs
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Post by maximvs » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:24 pm

I like all of those ideas!

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Post by Adraeth » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:19 pm

I like

*Hot seat DAG battles
*Player purchase for AI army list

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Post by IainMcNeil » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:25 pm

We agree more of a single player game would be good but I'm not sure those features would really make enough difference. A campaign game is probably a step too far but I don't think these do enough. Keep the ideas coming though.

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Post by Examinondas » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:01 pm

I suggest something between the current scenarios and a full campaign: scenarios with resources, like in Battle for Wesnoth or Panzer General.

Just make a scenario with a big map and locations which provide points each turn to the side that controls them, and allow the players to spend those points buying new units each turn. Surely, it may be completely out of scale, but I think it could be very fun.

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Post by mceochaidh » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:30 pm

I am play testing an historical scenario I created on a 50x50 map. Even though it is a large scenario (about 100BG per side), the use of a very large map gives the game a different feel. I think this is due to the extra depth. It makes the scenario feel more "operational", especially in the initial deployment phase.

If DAG games were allowed to choose this large map size, I think it would make for a better single game experience, especially for very large armies. It would have the benefit of making multiplayer more interesting as well, especially for the larger battles. Subject to the availability of more maps, its seems this would be a relatively simple change.

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Post by Skanvak » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:29 pm

We need DAG to be able to use custom made map.

The possibility to have an army to be exported as ti is at the end of a battle to start the following battle with a used army is surely a GREAT improvement.

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Post by stockwellpete » Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:00 pm

Big problems of single player game for me at the moment are . . .

i) AI gets confused by complex terrain
ii) the AI skirmishers are very aggressive but they can easily be encircled whereas the main batleline shuffles towards you in a rather shambolic and confused way
iii) the AI leaves all its "poor" units by its camp instead of keeping the army together and using them to give rear rank support to the main battleline

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Re: Improving The Single Player Game

Post by Hoplite1963 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:56 pm

**allow BG’s to be set at less than their full % strength at the start of a scenario (also allow them to start disrupted/fragged)


You can sort of do this at the moment. If you place terrain under a unit that disorders it, have them move second, and place units from the other side close enough to them so that they can charge into contact in the first turn.

I am currently playtesting a scenario for the Mamluk / Ottoman clash at Adana in 1488 which uses this facility and where I have also experimented with placing Karamanli traitor units right in the middle of the Turkish left wing to turn on their disordered Ottoman overlords in the very first turn as they are hit by the frontal charge of the Mamluk right.

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Post by TheGrayMouser » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:48 pm

thats a clever trick Hoplite, although its seems only viable for very unique situations that one would be trying to simulate.

Iain, thanks for responding , although i must admit your response somewhat bemuses me. I expected something like "due to business considerations we can only do so much and need to concentrate on things that are core to the game project ie expansion packs, MP etc" Intead you are implying the ideas are so small that it wouldnt make for a better experiance:) I hope that that doesnt mean they wont be considered, especially as a couple items ARE bugs in the editor , not feature requests...
Also, you (meaning Slith/hexwar) have posted on the Roadmap thread that a detailed combat report list of BG's stats AFTER a battle might be considered to "aid in campaign games" This would be nice to have but realistically, such a feature would be pretty useless because knowing a BG has 67% men left doesnt help one in any way represent that BG in a second battle, unless you can deploy units via the editor at less than their full strength.

All right, i will think bigger: open ended DAG army creator: Buy any units available up to your AP's from any army list ,. no caps or whatnot. Now, before you say "why would we allow someone to build any army they want but not buy the expansions" I would counter that no they could not. You would only be able to build units from expansion packs you own (and of course , as it is now you can play vs other players whom might own differnt expansions than you)
Would make almost any type of campaign possible, and would kill two birds with one stone since many players (one in particular from Moscow) who are miffed (and i agree with them) that the DAG unit caps make it impossible to field armies over 650-700 points in a lot of armies...

Cheers!

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Post by Jernau77 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:30 pm

Adraeth wrote:*Hot seat DAG battles
*Player purchase for AI army list
Let me add my vote for these. Also, a better AI couldn't hurt (the current one isn't bad, but it does have its failings; guess I should go try multiplayer...).

I'd also enjoy some kind of campaign. Doesn't even need to be something too complicated: I think a series of linked scenarios, where your performance in each would affect the forces available for the next, would be fine. Something like Hannibal's invasion of Italy, where you fight successive battles against roman armies, replacing losses with available local allies and occasional reinforcements.

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Post by IainMcNeil » Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:51 am

I'm not saying small ideas wont be considered but that to make a difference we need something more dramatic.

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Post by Lysimachos » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:56 am

Given the fact that at the moment the AI fare so poorly and that there is non chance of exporting the DAG armies into the editor, the hotseat dag battles improvement would certainly be welcomed and could represent a fresh add on to the game.

At the moment I'm playing against the AI only making my move in the odd turns (1st, 3rd, 5th), so giving the AI a sort of double action advantage, otherwise the match would have non interest at all.

The hotseat feature would render possible to play solo games in a more interesting and challenging way!
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Post by CaptainHuge » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:23 pm

Even if it is only a small change, allowing user-created armies in DAG games would make a big difference.

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Post by TheGrayMouser » Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:42 pm

iainmcneil wrote:I'm not saying small ideas wont be considered but that to make a difference we need something more dramatic.
Ah, more dramatic... hmm.. for every 250 consecuative wins vs the AI, a 1 free weeks supply of nubile slave girls?

Maybe I lack enough imagination, but i cant think of any one silver bullet item that would improve the single player game by 50%, 40% , even 20 %. However the cumualitive effect of small, easy to make tweaks could over time.

I would be curious to hear what the developers might thow out there for ideas?

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Post by maximvs » Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:48 pm

With 'throw out' being the operative words? :wink:

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Post by Morbio » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:23 pm

TheGrayMouser wrote:
iainmcneil wrote:I'm not saying small ideas wont be considered but that to make a difference we need something more dramatic.
Ah, more dramatic... hmm.. for every 250 consecuative wins vs the AI, a 1 free weeks supply of nubile slave girls?
Oooo! :shock: I might just start playing against the AI again! :wink:

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Post by Xiggy » Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:35 pm

I think improving the AI's setup troop selection would go a long way to improving single player. Just look at it does with grouping troop types and where it puts them. This isn't easy. No AI programming is, but that would help a lot.

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Post by davouthojo » Sat Mar 26, 2011 2:27 am

I'm with Slitherine on this.....partly.

Not to say that they shouldn't do the incremental changes mentioned above, there are some great ideas there.

However, while they will make us happy, I'm not sure they will increase the rate that new players join the FOG system. To do that we need the "buzz" or noise that a significant advance would generate. I can think of only two things:

1) Seriously good AI, that would attract players that like lone challenges, even from other eras

2) Simple campaigns, a la "Panzer General" or "Close Combat" series.
>A series of interlinked scenarios getting progressively more challenging
>Themed with real generals - Hannibal, Caesar, Alexander....
>Different situations, terrains and opposition armies in each scenarios
>Flow over from one scenario to the next - if you do well, your army is better in the next one
>A feature that hooked me in PG (actually Fantasy General) was personalisation of generals and units - you named "1st Macedonian Cavalry" and treasured it as gained battle honours, gained experience and moved from Average to Superior to Elite status

Or these two, my guess is the second would be cheaper to code and increase new player recruitment more

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Post by Skanvak » Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:59 am

TheGrayMouser wrote:thats a clever trick Hoplite, although its seems only viable for very unique situations that one would be trying to simulate.

Iain, thanks for responding , although i must admit your response somewhat bemuses me. I expected something like "due to business considerations we can only do so much and need to concentrate on things that are core to the game project ie expansion packs, MP etc" Intead you are implying the ideas are so small that it wouldnt make for a better experiance:) I hope that that doesnt mean they wont be considered, especially as a couple items ARE bugs in the editor , not feature requests...
Also, you (meaning Slith/hexwar) have posted on the Roadmap thread that a detailed combat report list of BG's stats AFTER a battle might be considered to "aid in campaign games" This would be nice to have but realistically, such a feature would be pretty useless because knowing a BG has 67% men left doesnt help one in any way represent that BG in a second battle, unless you can deploy units via the editor at less than their full strength.

All right, i will think bigger: open ended DAG army creator: Buy any units available up to your AP's from any army list ,. no caps or whatnot. Now, before you say "why would we allow someone to build any army they want but not buy the expansions" I would counter that no they could not. You would only be able to build units from expansion packs you own (and of course , as it is now you can play vs other players whom might own differnt expansions than you)
Would make almost any type of campaign possible, and would kill two birds with one stone since many players (one in particular from Moscow) who are miffed (and i agree with them) that the DAG unit caps make it impossible to field armies over 650-700 points in a lot of armies...

Cheers!
I support that, I am asking that since the beginning!

As for not being great or not. I think htat we pay for developping this game, as new pack only bring graphics which could actually be added by us if we had an editor like the one of BFA (yet, it could be totally simple for FOG). So reponding to recuring customer needs seem correct to me.

Though I agree too that to appeal to new players the single player game should be better.

_ May be adding a way to script scenario AI or to let player devices their own AI would increase the AI ability making a better challenge.

I see own to make a single campaign for the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. I was planning on a simple one for 3 players, but should be able to make it one player vs AI. We could use system from the fortress single player game system. If Ian want i give him a link to the guys doing the game, they shoudl be able to make a system for the fall of the Empire.

My rise and fall of the roman empire idea does not need to monitor the army from turn to turn. But all other ideas, will need to be able to resue an army as it is, with even buying replacement for damage units and buying new units. This feather should be avialable for DAG (well to please Ian, a new multiplayer online play call "Campaign Battle" so as to not pollute competitive DAG battle).

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