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[Help-liquidwar6] Some Liquid War 6 news

From: Christian Mauduit
Subject: [Help-liquidwar6] Some Liquid War 6 news
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2011 11:22:20 +0200
User-agent: SquirrelMail/1.4.21


I've been on vacation lately, this means I got time to code a little bit, so
things are moving again.

So where are we?

Well, current snapshot has a bunch of new
stuff in it, including:

- the new (well, they date from 2010 but I had not included them yet) bitmaped
cursors by Kasper, definitely looks better.
- bubbling sounds "à la" Liquid War 5, I really missed those!
- a basic score screen. It's raw, I find it ugly, but at least it's a start
and it displays informations. I omitted the "history" of the game suggested by
Kasper, it's sad for in reality the game does record the information so "all I
need to do" is to display it, but I just postponed that fancy part. Sorry
about that.
- a few bug fixes (yeah, in one year, I did find bugs)
- new Debian packaging (.debs will be back again for next release)
- serious code cleanup (I did opacify most of the internal algorithmic stuff
so that implementing new graphics backends can be done the right way, this is
good news as far as ports to other platforms, including mobile such as GP2X or
Android, is concerned)
- "team profiles". What is a team profile? Ha! Good question. In short: it
allows teams to behave differently, for instance, red attacks a little
stronger than other colors, but in turn, green might resist better to attacks
while yellow is fast (but weak!) compared to others. This, of course, can be
disabled (yet an option again...) but I believe it makes the game more fun to
have asymetric behaviors. It still stays Liquid War, with very basic cursor
control and that's it, but it changes the experience to be strong, or fast,
or... There are 4 parameters which are changeable per teams, they can be:
* aggressive: increasing this makes you attack stronger
* vulnerable: increasing this makes *being attacked* stronger
* mobile: increases the "nb-tries" parameters, rather arcane parameters, but
can change the fluidity of your team, I need feed-back on this one
* fast: you just plainly move faster, attack faster (or conversely move
slower, attack slower, if parameter is low)
- a lot of "under the hood" stuff which makes us closer to a working networked
version of the game, but alas still not ready (a good pile of job still, even
if it's not that bad, it certainly requires heavy work)

Now to come back on the team profile subject, I've set up very basic settings,
but I'd like to come with some fine-tuned nice-to-play settings, that could be
kept and make it a different yet reproduceable experience to play red, or
green, or blue or any other color. IMHO it's not that bad it some colors are
"weaker" than others, I imagine the first 3 or 4 colors (red, green and up to
blue or yellow) might need to have settings that make it fair to play any of
them, but I'd just think it nice to know that if you play pink, you're gonna
need to be strong. In that spirit, winning in pink on network could be the
nirvana of LW playing, cause you win with a handicap. Of course, all those
features only an option, but I'd strongly advocate to make them the defaults.

As a side note, this technically opens the gate of "alliances" between teams,
as to implement the above features I already needed to create a matrix of
"when team X attacks team Y, damage is Z". My only problem with this is the
interface, I can't find a way to make this intuitive, how to allow, on the
fly, blue and red to become friends. The "on the fly" is important, settings
alliances at game start might be fun, but I suspect it's an order of magnitude
less funny that being able to make friend with green, then go treacherous and
betray it for blue ;)

Next... (for there's a next subject) I'll probably, in a future that I expect
"near" implement some "special actions". A special action would just be a
trick that one could trigger from time to time (not too often, once per minute
could be fine). Something you fire when you're in deep trouble or when you
want to overcome some hard-to-work ennemy. There would be two categories for
this, one would be "special states" where your team behaves differently for a
limited time (about 3 seconds) and the other one would be "special changes"
where fighters are moved, recolored, exchanged, in a special manner.

I already brainstormed on that subject, and came with 10 ideas:
1) INVICIBLE: you're not damaged, all your fighter with max health, for a few
seconds only, course
2) BEZERK: super-attack mode, you damage others super fast, limited time (like
the previous one)
3) TURBO: you're super fast for some limited time
4) TELEPORT: all your fighters come to the "optimal" position instantaneously
5) ESCAPE: all your fighters come to the farest point on the map, scattered at
the opposite of your cursor
6) SCATTER: all the fighters, of all teams, spreaded randomly all over the map
7) FIX: all fighters stuck, can't move, but your team. They can't be attacked
either, they are just freezed, only you can move.
8) MIX: fighters stay in the same places/slot, but colors are mixed, that's
say the map ends up with all colors being mixed in a random semi-homogeneous
9) CONTROL: you don't control your team any more, instead you control other
teams, you can lead them wherever you want
10) STEAL: you steal a percentage of other fighters

This is not implemented yet, but it's just very high on my todo list.

This idea list should, IMHO, stay limited to 10. My position follows: with 10
(not less, not more) well calibrated, fun, effets, we can by default affect a
special action to each color. Technically you'll still be allowed to play 2
BEZERKS against each other, but the idea is that by combining the team profile
mentionned previously, and the special action, we might give a special
character to each color. In the long run, we might even personnify this, and
to some extent "scenarize" the game, having cap'tain Red fighting colonel
Yellow with the pink Monster lurking somewhere on the map.

0.0.10beta will come soon (for sure, before the end of summer, ideally this or
next week), it will include the team profiles. I'd still like it to have some
initial version of the special actions I mentionned, the idea would be to
allow players to experiment all this, and then for 0.0.11beta there could be a
complete solo game with 10 nice levels chained, where you play alternatively
every color available, in different contexts, so that you get a good overview
of the whole game aspects.

Then network game would remain a classical

Have a nice day,


Christian Mauduit <address@hidden> -  ___ __/\__
Liquid War 6 -      / _")\~ \~/
"Les amis de la vérité sont ceux qui la cherchent et non _/ /   /_ o_\
ceux qui se vantent de l'avoir trouvée" - Condorcet     (__/      \/

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