Home » BIT COMPOSER GAMES » Jagged Alliance: Back in Action (by Coreplay) » Actiontime-Based Strategy?
Actiontime-Based Strategy?[message #315083] Sat, 02 February 2013 16:03 Go to next message
vume5

 
Messages:13
Registered:August 2011
Hello,
currently if you turn a corner and see an enemy looking your way
(you see eachother simultaneously)
either the enemy gets an interrupt or not; if he does he can shoot at you lots of times before you can do anything; if he does not it's the other way around, though you'll propably have less left of your turn.
So I'm thinking making JA action-based would solve this.

EDIT:
I found a better way to describe what I mean by "action-based":
Realtime with auto-pause.
As long as there's a soldier who has no assigned task the game is automatically in pause;
Once all have sth to do the game runs till one soldier is finished;
then it auto-pauses till you assign a new task to him, etc.
Of course you'll have tasks like:
"Wait up to 5sec" or
"Wait till sth important happens" (he spots an enemy, hears sth, unspotted enemy starts shooting etc.)
When you give a command that contains multiple sub-commands like
"move to the tile 5 to the left and 9 below"
important events interrupt its execution once the current sub-command is finished.
What events are to be considered important can be set in options.
Realtime with autopause would offer the advantages of both realtime- and turn-based strategy.

FORMER EXPLANATION:[color:#666666]
Instead of turns with more or less AP per soldier you'd choose actions that take more or less time, depending on the soldier.
Generic:
You give your soldier the command to perform a specific action.
Once he's finished you choose the next action.
No turns. Everyone acts simultanously (sort-of).
(I think Autoresolve and FinalFantasy battles work this way.)
Back to above example:
You reach the corner tile and thus move into LOS of the enemy while enemy is now also in your LOS.
Say both you and the AI decide to shoot.
Say it takes you 560ms to raise your gun, roughly aim and pull the trigger.
Say it takes the enemy 430ms to do the same.
This means he will always fire first.
Let's say both have bad guns and are bad shots;
they will miss the first few times so we don't have to consider the effects of getting hit. We're also ignoring suppression for now.
Say it takes the enemy 180ms to shoot again while your gun is on auto and shoots every 70ms.
Then the no-hit shooting exchange will look like this:
430ms: him
560ms: you
610ms: him
630ms: you
700ms: you
770ms: you
790ms: him
840ms: you
910ms: you
970ms: him
980ms: you
1050ms: you
1120ms: you
1150ms: him
1190ms: you
1260ms: you
1330ms: him
etc.
If the same exchange was turn-based
(say a turn is based on a 2sec-slice)
it would start (chance-based) with either 9 times him or 21 or less times you (since you won't have a whole turn).
That's why I think that making JA action-based would be a good idea:
it offers the advantages of both turn-based and realtime play.

Of course you'll want to have composite actions:
e.g. instead of having to tell your soldier each time to which neighboring tile to move
you can simply specify finish tile and speed/posture/care of movement.
If sth. happens (he spots an enemy/item, hears sth, unspotted enemy starts shooting etc.) you get the chance to stop executing the action chain and do sth. else.[/color]

[Updated on: Tue, 05 February 2013 10:41] by Moderator

Re: Actiontime-Based Strategy?[message #315084] Sat, 02 February 2013 16:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Hazapuza

 
Messages:264
Registered:February 2009
Location: Finland
I know next to nothing about coding, but judging from your earlier posts, you might. Still, if I understood your post correctly, you're proposing a completely new gameplay system, which means a huge amount of new code. Are you going to do that yourself?

[Updated on: Sat, 02 February 2013 16:26] by Moderator

Re: Actiontime-Based Strategy?[message #315087] Sat, 02 February 2013 17:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sam Hotte

 
Messages:2031
Registered:March 2009
Location: Middle of Germany
The description pretty much sounds like plan&go from BiA to me:
During a pause you give command "shoot till death" to your merc. After that they shoot onto each other at the same time ...

If they shoot at each other in mutual turns (including the player to give different command in his turn), then that's pretty much what IIS tries to do.
Re: Actiontime-Based Strategy?[message #315092] Sat, 02 February 2013 20:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
vume5

 
Messages:13
Registered:August 2011
@Hazapuza
No, it wouldn't be completely new since there already is a realtime mode.
All you'd need is to adapt it.
I guess it would need significantly more coding than going from 25AP to 100AP-system.
You could also adapt the turn-based mode by increasing action AP-cost and carrying it over to consecutive turns.
Say moving one tile would take 5000 AP = 50 turns.
As long as all your soldiers are busy with moving/whatever the turns get skipped;
When a soldier is finished, you decide the next action.
As for my coding skills: I currently just write scripts, can sort-of read source code and am not really familiar with C++ or any other "real" language for that matter.
I do have some generic knowledge about callback functions, objects, arrays and the like.
So doing it myself would be a huge project indeed.


@Sam_Hotte
Each time in the event list above when you get to shoot you'll also have the option of starting to do sth else, like dodging back behind the corner.
When firing auto you'll obviously want a "continue firing till sth important happens" option.
(like another enemy appears, you get hit, etc.;
if the enemy gets hit it propably wouldn't be considered important by default
since you'll propably want to continue shooting anyway;
you'd be able to define in options what events to consider "important".)
IIS works with propability and is sth completely different the way I gather.
I assume in my example above IIS would give control to either the enemy or you;
if to the enemy, he could spend all his APs shooting at you before you'd get control;
if to you, you could use all your remaining APs shooting at the enemy before he'd get control;
See the difference to the event list?


Re: Actiontime-Based Strategy?[message #315094] Sat, 02 February 2013 20:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DepressivesBrot

 
Messages:3789
Registered:July 2009
Well, no need to pussyfoot around and invent fancy descriptive terms, what you're proposing is the plain old RT/SPM mechanic.

It works, it's a proven system but a radical departure from what JA2 was designed to do. So have fun rewriting the complete core mechanics Smile


Re: Actiontime-Based Strategy?[message #315095] Sat, 02 February 2013 20:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sam Hotte

 
Messages:2031
Registered:March 2009
Location: Middle of Germany
vume5
I assume in my example above IIS would give control to either the enemy or you;
if to the enemy, he could spend all his APs shooting at you before you'd get control;

That's wrong (as far as i understood IIS): spending APs (regardles if your turn/interrupt or AI's) gives chance that the other side can interrupt this.

Anyway, what you described is exactly as PnG in BiA works in this regard. So maybe it'd be easier to mod the missing things from JA2 to BiA than turning JA2 into BiA ...
Re: Actiontime-Based Strategy?[message #315096] Sat, 02 February 2013 20:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DepressivesBrot

 
Messages:3789
Registered:July 2009
Sam_Hotte
So maybe it'd be easier to mod the missing things from JA2 to BiA than turning JA2 into BiA ...
No, it's easier to rewrite one (core) aspect of JA2 than it is to rewrite BiA completely Razz


Re: Actiontime-Based Strategy?[message #315115] Sun, 03 February 2013 01:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
vume5

 
Messages:13
Registered:August 2011
Sam_Hotte
spending APs (regardles if your turn/interrupt or AI's) gives chance that the other side can interrupt this.

So you're saying that with IIS the following scenario is possible?
You turn a corner, have 90AP left.
The enemy was just standing looking your way.
He gets the interrupt, has 100APs.
He takes a shot for 20APs.
This causes you to interrupt his interrupt.

You take a shot for 25APs.
This in turn causes him to interrupt you again....
etc.
Re: Actiontime-Based Strategy?[message #315116] Sun, 03 February 2013 01:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3174
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
Your idea is very possible - if you are willing to rewrite a core aspect of the game.


Re: Actiontime-Based Strategy?[message #315117] Sun, 03 February 2013 01:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sam Hotte

 
Messages:2031
Registered:March 2009
Location: Middle of Germany
vume5
Sam_Hotte
spending APs (regardles if your turn/interrupt or AI's) gives chance that the other side can interrupt this.

So you're saying that with IIS the following scenario is possible?
You turn a corner, have 90AP left.
The enemy was just standing looking your way.
He gets the interrupt, has 100APs.
He takes a shot for 20APs.
This causes you to interrupt his interrupt.

You take a shot for 25APs.
This in turn causes him to interrupt you again....
etc.

At least this had been discussed as "double-leveled interrupt". I haven't double checked if Sandro may have dropped this for whatever reason.
So if it made its way in current implementation of IIS, then yes, counter-interrupting an interrupt is quite possible.


[Updated on: Sun, 03 February 2013 01:33] by Moderator

Re: Actiontime-Based Strategy?[message #315494] Sat, 16 February 2013 19:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
vume5

 
Messages:13
Registered:August 2011
Well,
I took a look at BiA
(seen some ingame vids, played part of the tutorial, loaded the demo sector)
And while I love the idea of RT with autopause I see several issues with BiA's plan&go-system:

1.
Pointless planning.
While it may have made sense to plan several moves ahead when you play without (mutual) FOW, at least till you actually start engaging the enemy, I bet that with FOW you'll constantly find yourself deleting planned actions because sth unplanned has happened in the meantime.
This planning leads to a rather awkward UI because the game can't know when you're done:
You have to manually switch to the next soldier and manually leave command mode.
Better, far better would be a SingleCommandMode.
Once a command is given, the game switches to next merc,
if all mercs have commands, switch back to RT till next PauseEvent.
In SingleCommandMode, the same amount of micromanagement, the same number of commands would take about 80-90% less UI-actions. That's significant.
Yes, you'd have to introduce at least one "wait"-command and it'd be nice to also display some important "what if"-information (like how would hit probability and visibility change if I change my stance).


2.
No time cost dispay?!
Aside from a timer over the merc's head when he's currently aiming to fire showing the time left till the shot,
there is no info at all about how much time an action is going to take.
So you can never learn how and if things like terrain, stamina loss, perception, weight load, etc affects your speed.

3.
Why on earth does the main screen turn grey in command mode?
It's like the game is screaming "This is the lifeless&boring mode! Don't use it! The game is not supposed to be played in here!"
Did the devs get a request like:
"That huge plan&go-UI isn't enough, I'm still confusing RT with command mode. Please make it clearer when I'm in command mode!" ?
Btw: In the tutorial I was supposed to activate command mode and then go to the green spot that appears.
Haha. Very funny.
Sure the spot's also displayed on the minimap(still in color) but it took me about 8 times till I finally hit it.
_______________________________________________________________

Aside from the plan&go-design BiA has some other issues:

No hotkey to turn view by 90 degrees. Why I would ever want to turn the view by, say, 15 degrees in an isometrical game is beyond me. 45 degrees is the max reasonable resolution for an isometric game. If there was a hotkey to turn 90 degrees clockwise and another to turn 45 degrees counter-clockwise that'd be more than enough. Again: UI-design!

Civilians ignore fighting unless they actually get shot..

You can/have to outfit militia manually, but you can't move them to other locations. That's seriously messed up. So you have upgraded a militia in Drassen to level 4 and given him a good gun and armor that you don't really need. When you take Cambria, not only do you have to leave the level 4 militia in Drassen, you also have to manually exchange his gun for sth else so that you can at least move the gun and armor up...

I think that if you have "Pause when enemy detects you" you'll get the pause even if the enemy is still unspotted... a consequential bug of adding mutual FOW.

There still seem to be other serious bugs, like camouflage doesn't work, etc.

Well, maybe by the time I buy a faster laptop that can play BiA fluently it will actually be worth playing.
I don't really mind the general simplification of things (no running expenses, no aiming levels, 12x-scope always better than 4x-scope, RPG-style instant healing,...); I do mind bad UI or if sth doesn't work as described.


Re: Actiontime-Based Strategy?[message #315515] Sun, 17 February 2013 17:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sam Hotte

 
Messages:2031
Registered:March 2009
Location: Middle of Germany
vume5
Better, far better would be a SingleCommandMode.
Once a command is given, the game switches to next merc,
if all mercs have commands, switch back to RT till next PauseEvent.

This may apply to your personal style (and not having played the game much), but i'd hate it if i would be not allowed to issue command chains like "get up behind cover, shoot once and hit the dirt behind cover again".

Quote:
No hotkey to turn view by 90 degrees. Why I would ever want to turn the view by, say, 15 degrees in an isometrical game is beyond me. 45 degrees is the max reasonable resolution for an isometric game. If there was a hotkey to turn 90 degrees clockwise and another to turn 45 degrees counter-clockwise that'd be more than enough.

You haven't played much. Else you'd knew that you quite often have to take the weirdest views to get a lock on target at all ... Wink
BiA has some more flaws than just UI ...

[Updated on: Sun, 17 February 2013 17:02] by Moderator

RT with AutoPause[message #315545] Mon, 18 February 2013 08:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
vume5

 
Messages:13
Registered:August 2011
but i'd hate it if i would be not allowed to issue command chains like "get up behind cover, shoot once and hit the dirt behind cover again".
Why?
You're in cover, you give "get up"-command.
Depending on what your other mercs are doing, focus may shift to one or several of them.
However, once he's finished getting up you'll regain focus on him; he won't be just standing up there even for a fraction of a second, and you don't have to watch him to make sure you don't miss the moment he's finished getting up.
Then you just give the next command, fire.
Again, focus may shift to other mercs.
But once he's finished firing the shot, you may decide to stay up if you have SingleCommandMode: say you hit the enemy pretty good and the other mercs have also reduced the threat significantly.
With your chain command, he'd either be diving pointlessly for cover or you'd have to manually pause and delete the order.
Besides, standard chain commands may very well have their own hotkey. Maybe you could even use the plan&go-UI to define custom chain commands and then assign them to a hotkey.
Re: RT with AutoPause[message #315549] Mon, 18 February 2013 11:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DepressivesBrot

 
Messages:3789
Registered:July 2009
Your idea is killing any semblance of flow by forcing the player into eternal pauses for every little action and introducing command chains disguised as atomic actions pretty much admits that.
Imo, someone should take plan and go to it's logical conclusion and see how that plays out: Add a simple flowgraph programming interface.


Re: RT with AutoPause[message #315550] Mon, 18 February 2013 13:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
vume5

 
Messages:13
Registered:August 2011
You'd only lose flow if you're just playing RT, without AutoPause, and you only use plan&go in highly time-critical situations, mostly manually.
Compared to TB combat, you'd GAIN a lot of flow.
Even compared to RT with AutoPause and plan&go, you'd probably still gain some flow, since it'd be more dynamic.
Re: RT with AutoPause[message #315552] Mon, 18 February 2013 15:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sam Hotte

 
Messages:2031
Registered:March 2009
Location: Middle of Germany
vume5
but i'd hate it if i would be not allowed to issue command chains like "get up behind cover, shoot once and hit the dirt behind cover again".
Why?


Because that's my way to play; to keep my mercs alive und unharmed. Razz

Quote:
You're in cover, you give "get up"-command.
Depending on what your other mercs are doing, focus may shift to one or several of them.
However, once he's finished getting up you'll regain focus on him; he won't be just standing up there even for a fraction of a second, and you don't have to watch him to make sure you don't miss the moment he's finished getting up.
Then you just give the next command, fire.
Again, focus may shift to other mercs.
But once he's finished firing the shot, you may decide to stay up if you have SingleCommandMode: say you hit the enemy pretty good and the other mercs have also reduced the threat significantly.

That's not possible in PnG currently.
You would change to a "auto pause after everything". You'd have extremly small turns (being executed simultaneously).
Sounds not like a fluent gameplay (but that's armchair opinion don't know any game working like this).

Quote:
Maybe you could even use the plan&go-UI to define custom chain commands and then assign them to a hotkey.

That would probably be a good addition to PnG, yes.
Re: RT with AutoPause[message #315553] Mon, 18 February 2013 16:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DepressivesBrot

 
Messages:3789
Registered:July 2009
Sam_Hotte
That's not possible in PnG currently.
You would change to a "auto pause after everything". You'd have extremly small turns (being executed simultaneously).
Sounds not like a fluent gameplay (but that's armchair opinion don't know any game working like this).
Ticking every trigger in 7.62 comes close if you also refrain from using the shoot-until-dead command and yeah, it's as much fun as you imagine.


Re: RT with AutoPause[message #316280] Fri, 15 March 2013 17:10 Go to previous message
R@S

 
Messages:134
Registered:July 2004
Location: Sweden
Clean-up in Isle 5, Shanga! Someone left a steaming pile of Chinese crap and tried to disguise it, but the smell is killing my finely tuned senses.
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