After updating the data model to work around GAE’s limitations, the data model, interfaces, and UI mock ups are now complete enough that it is time to being coding. None of the three are 100% complete and what is there isn’t perfect, but complete and perfect design docs aren’t the end goal. The end goal is a working web strategy game and its time to get on with it.
Of the four features I previously mentioned would like to add to the game design, I’ve decided to only implement number 2 initially. I’ll update the design docs to reflect this addition as I’m referring to them while writing the code. Of those four features number 2 is the one that affects the game design at its core. The other three can all be bolted on later with minimal if any churn in what then will be ‘existing code’.
Today I quit playing the last of web strategy games I had started during the period I was surveying the current offerings. When I started playing it, I started in what was the last three weeks of a round that ran a total of 11 weeks, but after playing a week and half day in a new round I got tired of feeling like I needed to log in every hour to secure the resources just produced. Also the pace at the beginning of the round is quite a bit slower then at the end so it just wasn’t as engaging (i.e. that next upgrade wasn’t just around the corner it was 20 tedious logins and resource securings away).
When I was surveying the games I found they fit into three categories. Purely turned based, purely real-time, and hybrid. For those that were purely turn based the only thing that accrued over real time was turns, anything else required expending turns to get. The hybrids generally had turns and resources acruing in real time with turns needing to be expended to attack/raid. I found I like most of the aspects of the turn based ones the best, except that attacks/raids occurred instantly.
So my design is almost purely turn based with three exceptions. One exception is exploring the Multiverse to find new verses which takes an increasing amount of time the further away you explore. Another exception is the spawning of Minor and Major Creatures in the Minoverses, which only happens once per real day.
The final exception is connecting your home verse to a known verse, which takes a minimum of 1 tick (I’m thinking 15 minutes between ticks currently) and increase with distance. As a verse only produces power when turns are taken in that verse you don’t have to worry about losing the power produced by your limited turns instantly nor while losing a nights real time production just before you wake up.
That isn’t to say you never need to worry about losing production from all turns being taken in your verse, as other players can take turns in your verse to move their populous into your verse and try to raid you, but if they are successful, at least any production they stole was paid for with their turns instead of yours. Another player can also setup up their populous to be in the connection between verses so that next you take a turn in your verse they will enter your verse and use your turns to attempt to raid you, but you’ll know they are there so you can make what ever preparations you are able to before taking a turn. For example you could send populous from another verse to the one being raided, as you can spend turns in connected verses independently of each other. As another example you could spend power to instantly revive any suspended populous (populous gets suspended if the upkeep for the populous of a verse costs more then can be paid).