Battlements

Note (2003.01.20): Battlements is not being developed at the moment. I
don’t have time to work on the design or the game.

Design

Introduction

Battlements is a medieval turn-based strategy game in which players will amass an army
and conquer neighboring territories until only one player remains.

Overview

A group of players create a game and each player is given a (random?) starting location
in a 3D terrain. Each turn, a player can choose to carry out a limited set of
commands. For example, a player can order the construction of new fortresses, castles,
or towns, or begin training new soldiers. If the player’s lands are becoming too
saturated, he may choose to expand to new areas.

This growth process continues until a player feels its in her strategic interest
to attack another player. A player can simply raid another player’s territories,
destroying valuable buildings and killing troops, or the player can attempt to
conquer a territory, which, while being far more difficult, is very beneficial
in the long run, as the player takes control of anything on the land.

When one player conquers all of another player’s land, the defeated player is removed
from the game. When only one player remains, he is declared the winner and the
game ends.

Look and Feel

General

Battlements runs in a window on your desktop. It uses native menus, widgets and dialog
boxes. Internally, the game specifies the UI in a platform-independent way that
captures the idea behind the UI and translates it into one that fits with the host
platform’s conventions.

Graphics

Battlements represents the world as a 3D terrain. Each player has an individual view
into this world, via a camera positioned slightly up and slightly back (2/3 view) from
the focus. The player can rotate her camera around the focus, or change (phi? what’s
the word for the angle above the ground).

Sound

Medieval music! Cool sound effects!

Interaction

Battlements players interact with the world by clicking on objects (selecting them),
dragging them (giving them the default command?), or right-clicking on objects
(extra commands).

Portal Server (Battlements.net ;)

Overview

To find random players or just chat with buddies, a player can connect to a portal
server. First, the user must create an account with the server. After logging in,
the user enters some user-defined default channel. From here, the user can create
or join other channels or create a new game. Each channel consists of a list of
users and a window where the members can talk with each other. etc. etc. just like
IRC or b.net…

If a player creates a game within a portal, and the game has no password, it shows
up in a list of open games on the portal. This facilitates setting up games with
random people.

Player Accounts / Heroes

When a user creates an account on a portal server (or creates a local account for
direct TCP/IP games), he allocates a finite set of skill points to a set of possible
character attributes. (define attributes later) (choose an avatar?) (what if the
hero dies in battle?)

Grinoch: How about you then start a “2nd in command” character that you can create
just the same as your main character only you get fewer stat points to work with.

I like it. – Chad

Each account on a server can have multiple characters, a la D2X.

Game Creation

Players can either create games inside the context of a portal server or standalone.
In order to connect to standalone servers, the player must know the IP of the server.
Games on a portal server are referenced by a name and a password.

Once a player has created a game, she is shown a window where she can set game options
(background music? preview of the map? define these later). Once she is satisfied
with the options, other players can join the game, view the options, and chat with
each other before the game starts. When everybody’s ready, the game starts (by vote?
the game creator gets to start the game?).

Gameplay

Games average about an hour. Smaller terrains imply shorter games, and larger terrains
imply longer games. Also, the more players, the more time spent. Each turn, all players
simultaneously issue N (where N is determined by a player’s tactics score or something?)
commands to their kingdoms. After each player’s turn is completed (or the turn’s time
limit is up), the turn ends. At this stage, all of the actions made on the players’ turns
are played out, and any conflicts (i.e. battles) are resolved. There are two mechanisms
for displaying this data. If the game was configured with ‘quick mode’ (?), it simply
shows up in a list within a dialog box. Otherwise, the actions can be viewed in real
time on the terrain.

There should be different winning rules like “conquer the home territory”, “kill the
leader”, “conquer everything”, etc.

Maps

All maps are randomly generated by a terrain generation algorithm. Maybe there should
be a way to save them or create them in an editor?

Related Games

  • QBasic Castles I, II, and III
  • Lord Monarch
  • Civilization
  • Risk

Current Status

Design Stage. Development is blocked by Naikai.

Help Wanted

  • A logo
  • Design input
  • Medieval-themed music
  • Sword, cannon, construction, etc. sound effects
  • Art, textures, and models for the game world

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