I had another dream that gave me a game idea this morning. This time instead of the dream scenario inspiring a concept, the dream itself portrayed the game.
It’s an abstract real-time sim-ish strategy game. In the dream:
- Game objects are represented as 2D coloured squares with the map being a black grid
- The main elements of the game are: worlds, units, rooms, & resources
- The map is divided into separate “worlds”. Each player has their own world-space that links to a shared hub world-space.
- It seems the game takes place underground as the world is carved out by units
- There’s no “fog of war”. All players can see everything that is going on in any world-space at any time
- Units acted very much like chess pieces. They can only move & capture in certain ways.
- I’m not sure if the rooms served any purpose
- Each player (3 players in the dream, I think) had their own way of bringing a room into the hub world. Apparently some factions cannot build rooms in the hub world so they need to build them in their own world-space before teleporting them to the hub world
- I believe there were various resources scattered across the hub world.
- It seems that all units & rooms had their own AI. You didn’t need to be always giving orders.
- There would also be ways for the player to give
So, mechanically, it’s a lot like Dungeon Keeper with chess pieces & segmented maps.
I can actually see myself making something like this in the future. This would serve as a good exercise in coding AI. I find the room teleportation idea very interesting as it would allow players to surprise others, e.g. you could quickly usurp an attempt to acquire resources this way.
If I went ahead with this idea here is what I would add or do differently:
- Since this would likely be my first foray into strategy games, there wouldn’t be different factions, although I would hope that I can provide enough to allow for different play styles.
- Each space or tile is either in a state of: solid (black), empty (white), captured (matching player colour), unbuildable (brown), resource (cyan with matching resource pattern below), or portal (purple)
- These are represented as circles overlaid with a white & black pattern. White = movement pattern, Black = capture pattern.
- There are two kinds of units: workers & soldiers. All units can move & capture units. A unit is instantly killed when “captured” by an opposing unit. Only units that move orthogonally can carve out the map & capture spaces, & only 1 space can be carved out or captured at a time.
- Workers work much like Pawns from chess. They capture units diagonally & do everything else orthogonally. They can only move 1 space at a time. They can carve out the map & build rooms.
- Like their Chess counterparts, soldiers can move as far as they wish to in their chosen direction if nothing is blocking their way.
- A soldier is defined as basic or advanced based on how it moves. Basic movement patterns include orthogonal & diagonal. Advanced movement patterns include the Knight’s “L” movement from Chess & the checker repeatable jump pattern. Basic soldier types require Spirals & advanced soldier types require Ripples. Units of mixed patterns cost more.
- These are represented as diamonds overlaid with a white symbol matching the room it represents.
- Rooms can only be built on captured spaces of the corresponding colour in your home subspace & in the hub world. Most rooms require spaces of 3×3 to function & bigger rooms typically function better. Rooms can be destroyed in the same way units can be “captured” but only one space at a time.
- Each player would start with a 3×3 “heart” room surrounded by unbuildable spaces. If there are less than 10 workers, this room will produce a worker every few seconds, otherwise Cracks are required to build more. If this room is captured you lose. This room is captured when it is completely surrounded (all neighbouring spaces occupied) by units of an opposing colour.
- Harvester rooms acquire resources from any adjacent resource space. Only requires 1 space to function.
- Fortifications act as walls that block all units & require several hits to destroy. Only requires 1 space to function.
- Basic Soldier rooms generate soldiers that move & capture in basic patterns. Requires 3×3 to function & Spirals to build & produce units.
- Advanced Soldier rooms generate soldiers that move & capture in advanced patterns. Requires 3×3 to function & Ripples to build & produce units.
- Teleporter rooms can move room spaces to any captured spaces in the home worldspace & hub worldspace that matches the original shape of the room. Require 5×5 to function & cost Cracks per teleport & to build.
- Units & rooms would be sim-ish to the extent that went left alone they would build, defend, or attack the enemy depending on the overall state of the map. Its entirely possible that your units will win the game without you doing anything (I guess this makes this a casual game).
- Resources (I’ll likely change the names to something else, they are simply for the sake of differentiation)
- Require a nearby harvester room to acquire. More harvesters = faster income. Never run out.
- Spirals – used to buy basic soldier units
- Ripples – used to buy advanced soldier units
- Cracks – used to buy extra workers when more than 9 are present.
- I’m still pondering if I would allow players to build portals using workers or have them present at the start of a match. Either way, up to two portals per player space would exist at any time &, if there from the beginning, are indestructible.
Okay, I went overboard again but it’s always fun to expand to ideas.
P.S. Shout out to my brother who’s daughter just arrived on planet Earth this morning. Both of my siblings have become parents this year (my sister gave birth back in January, same day I started flatting). Man, things are really happening this year.