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Archive for the ‘strategy’ tag

Thoughts on Tutorials

Posted on 24th Sep 2011 at 11:16 by Iain Farquhar with 26 comments

Iain Farquhar
When I was offered the chance to review the upcoming game Men of War: Vietnam, I initially leapt at the chance, but with the disc came a warning:

These games are bloody hard,' Harry said loudly, repeatedly, while looming behind me and staring at my laptop screen. 'Probably the closest thing to digital masochism I’ve ever seen.’

But I was determined to impress the office with my analytical skill and unbiased opinions and, besides, I had never come across a game that I couldn't bend to my will after a few hours. With anticipation in full flow, I started the game and prepared to give my best.

Three hours later, I still hadn’t completed the first mission. The first mission. I tried lowering the difficulty settings. I tried different approaches. With a mounting sense of failure and humiliation, I considered downloading the demo of the original Men of War so I could practice at home before a second attempt. And it was at that point I realised something...

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Good Free Games: 10 Min Space Strategy

Posted on 30th Aug 2011 at 08:36 by Clive Webster with 4 comments

Clive Webster
While the name is overly ambitious, and it could be more helpful for novices, 10 Min Space Strategy is a rather good 4X (Expand, Explore, Exterminate and Research, or something like that) game that you can play for free.

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What I'm Playing - Blood Bowl Legendary Edition

Posted on 17th Feb 2011 at 12:08 by Clive Webster with 18 comments

Clive Webster
Despite its occasional eccentricities, I rather liked the original Blood Bowl computer game. The races all had their own characteristics, so every game had different challenges, and the sense of humour and style fitted the world of the ultra-violent American Football game. Best yet, it brought back memories of playing the board game on which it's based. Legendary Edition adds 11 new races to the game, plus new pitches, rules and a Story mode, so I got myself a copy a few weeks ago.

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Games I Own: Executive Suite

Posted on 14th Nov 2010 at 15:13 by Joe Martin with 2 comments

Joe Martin
Executive Suite is one of the most low-fi games I've ever played. It’s also one of the games I've played the most – I used to love it on the first PC my family ever had, an ornery old IBM. Recently, with a DOS emulator slipping into the Apple AppStore for a few hours (if you missed it then you should have kept a closer eye on the ‘What We’re Reading’ section of the front page), I’ve been enjoying it again.

Essentially, it’s a business strategy sim, but one where all the strategy comes from negotiating office politics rather than share prices. At the start of the game you interview for a job at Might Microprocessor Corporation, after which you are given a choice of entry positions ranging from engineer to postal clerk. You stay in that role for one year, and then you’re moved to a new role. The format repeats, with each job lasting only a year before you’re forced on.

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Developer Blog: Frozen Synapse's Singleplayer

Posted on 31st Aug 2010 at 12:03 by Mode 7 with 6 comments

Mode 7
We’ve just started work on the single player campaign mode for Frozen Synapse. Although the core of the gameplay is about two players trying to outwit each other, we’ve known from the outset just how important single player is for a strategy game.

A lot of strategy fans have an aversion to multiplayer; they like the sedate pace of singleplayer and the ability to immerse themselves in strategic decisions without the pressure of competition. Indeed, in this interview with RPS , the Gollop brothers talk about how a lack of single player hampered their turn-based strategic epic Laser Squad Nemesis.

Despite the fact that we tend to focus on multiplayer, we’re big single player fans at Mode 7. Personally, I’ve always loved the immersive narratives in classic PC games like Wing Commander and Terra Nova.

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Developer Blog: Making the AI Work

Posted on 11th Aug 2010 at 10:31 by Mode 7 with 10 comments

This week I'll hand over to Frozen Synapse's Lead Designer, Ian Hardingham, who has just had a breakthrough with creating Frozen Synapse's pathfinding engine... - Paul Taylor

I'm pleased with myself today.

The pathfinding in FS has always been atrocious – experienced players pretty much have to use shift all the time to bypass it. It’s a pain in the ass. Here’s a great example of it going wrong, below.

Developer Blog: Making the AI Work Developer Blog: Interface Design
Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity

The reason pathfinding sucks so much is that my algorithm for it is terrible – it splits the levels up into a grid, each square about the size of a unit. It then checks each square for obstacles. It’s a really innaccurate representation of the level.

This weekend I was reading up on advanced pathfinding stuff, and considering using some kind of Navmesh with movement polygons. Then I was hit by a flash of inspiration – the only thing that matters in FS is corners. If you ever want to make a path in FS, you only ever use the corners to get there – the only points I need in my nav-graph are the corners! Here’s my code for identifying the corners in action...

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Developer Blog: Hello World!

Posted on 6th Jul 2010 at 10:09 by Mode 7 with 16 comments

Mode 7
My name's Paul Taylor, and I co-own an indie dev studio (that's code for three guys in a small room) called Mode 7 Games. We've been making games and doing various other projects together since 2005.

Our current title is called Frozen Synapse - it's a squad-based tactical game that people seem to like!

I handle everything that isn't development, as well as working on any art direction, audio and writing that's required. My co-conspirator Ian Hardingham handles design, code and the overall direction of our stuff.

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Free Games I Like: War and Peace

Posted on 14th May 2010 at 08:20 by Joe Martin with 15 comments

Joe Martin
For a long time there’s been talk among the more ambitious and feather-brained developers and players of games about a hypothetical artistic pinnacle of gaming – "the Citizen Kane of videogames". From the title of War and Peace you might expect this game attempts to reach that aim, perhaps by attempting to adapt the infamous Russian novel into game form.

But you’d be wrong, because War and Peace doesn’t have anything in common with Tolstoy’s colossal opus. Instead, it’s a de-make of perhaps the most-loved PC game of all time and the one title which could definitely hope to rival Tolstoy’s novel in depth. Well, if you’re feeling a bit hyperbolic anyway.

War and Peace is best explained as Civilization with only one button – a toggle which flips you between conflict and compromise.

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Games I Own: Dungeon Keeper, Theme Park, Theme Hospital

Posted on 26th Sep 2009 at 11:38 by Joe Martin with 16 comments

Joe Martin
I was never any good at Dungeon Keeper – and when I say ‘not any good’, I really do mean that I was seriously pants at it. Something to do with being only 12 when the game came out and not really being interested in strategy games – which kind of begs the question of why I played it at all.

There are two answers.

Firstly, it wasn’t my game. It was my brothers and, while I can’t remember if it was a present or something he actually bought, I do know it was his. In the days when the family shared just one PC and my brother and I shared every game, it was inevitable that I would play it. Likewise, it was inevitable then when he stopped playing PC games and I moved out that I would steal it from him, along with about ten other games. Sorry, Sam!

Secondly, making people think that they liked strategy games even though they didn’t really was one of the things that made Bullfrog such a successful company.

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You Have No Heavy Calvary

Posted on 24th Feb 2009 at 09:29 by Cliff Harris with 17 comments

Cliff Harris
I've just finished my first play of the demo of Empire: Total War, and it reminds me of my original motivation for the design of Gratuitous Space Battles.

I'm a big fan of the Total War games, although I don't devote much time to the campaign game and certainly don't get time to play them as much as their true devotees. They have, for me a single major frustration. Although I might go to great lengths to field a decent army against my enemy, although I may pick a good formation and a decent time and month to fight, the moment the two armies come into contact it becomes an almighty uncontrollable scrum where almost anything could happen.

The basic dilemma is ranged units. If your guns can fire one metre further than the enemies, just ensure you are always at maximum range and shoot at him till you win. This may sound simplistic, but it's how a lot of real world battles were fought. The US & Buddies pulverised Saddam's army because their tanks could fire from further away. In the open tank battles of Gulf War 1 and 2, hardly a single tank shell of Iraqi origin hit anything.

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Divinity: Original Sin Review

Divinity: Original Sin Review

Divinity: Original Sin is a delightful RPG let down only by poor player...
Mod of the Month June 2014 in association with Corsair

Mod of the Month June 2014 in association with Corsair

We've got six of the best mods and scratchbuilds for you to drool over

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