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Multiplayer Mecha Programming game. (Forums : Ideas & Concepts : Multiplayer Mecha Programming game.) Locked
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Sep 11 2012, 2:19pm Anchor

Just a concept some of us have been throwing around based on one of our favorite games. Hoping
to see if there is enough interest to proceed with a project.

 The Concept:
Take the mecha combat genre in a new direction by placing the emphasis on programming rather than direct control. Make it an online multiplayer game with a free-to-play base game with options for purchasing some content with real and/or in game money. All purchasable items are of a cosmetic or utilitarian nature and have no effect on balance or gameplay.

 How the game plays:
Players are tasked with building a mech to do combat against other user created mechs. A mech is designed around two
equally important concepts: Hardware and Software. While they are both equally important, designing the hardware profile for a mech is a much easier process than designing the software. That said, no matter how good the hardware, the mech is useless without solid software design. Let's take a look at what each of these processesinvolve.


HARDWARE DESIGN:
Hardware design encompasses all of the physical components that make up a mech. This ranges from the head, core, arms, and legs, to the generator, weapons, and CPU. While the options available vary widely there are a few parts that EVERY mech will need to include:

Head: The head of the mech houses the CPU, optics, scanners, radar and other sensory parts. What type of head a player chooses will determine many of the options available and is an important consideration when planning a design.

Core: The core of a mech contains the generator housing, back booster slots, expansion slots, and determines the countermeasures available. Choosing the correct core type for a design is crucial as not every generator or countermeasure can be used with every core.

Arms: The arms of a mech hold weapons and shields, or may even be weapons or shields. Aside from the obvious considerations, careful planning for reliability and EN usage is a must when selecting arm units.

Legs: Legs do more than just give movement to a mech. The legs are also one of the determining factors in the maximum weight a mech can handle. Different leg types are better at holding weight while others arebetter at providing swift movement.

These are just the most basic parts that will form the frame of a mech. The internal parts and weapons are what will help to further round out a hardware profile for a mech. How these parts function as a whole is determined, lragerly, by the software profile for a mech.

SOFTWARE DESIGN:
The designing of software is one of the most complex and time consuming aspects of mech design. Without a good software program even the most balanced and tuned hardware profile will prove useless. So what makes a software program so important?
In short, a software program is important because without it the mech will do NOTHING. It will simply stand and make no attempt to move or otherwise function. Since there is NO direct control over a mech the software program the player designs will determine every action the mech takes. This is why a good software program is so very crucial.

A good software program is composed of movement, attack, defense, and detection. For example a mech should be able to DETECT and enemy, MOVE into attack range, ATTACK the enemy, and DEFEND against an incoming attack. The is accomplished by using a variety of programming chips to determine the actions a mech will take.
One key component in the designing of a software program is determined in the hardware portion of the design process. The CPU that is selected when creating the hardware profile for a mech determines the amount of space available for a program, and the number of cores available for multilayer programs. Each CPU consists of 1-6 cores and each core has a grid in which a player may place programming chips.
The placement and configuration of the programming chips is what creates a software program. Many of the chips are configurable and offer multiple output paths depending the situation and others are as simple 'turn left' or 'turn right'. Using the correct programming chips in the correct manner is what will ultimately determine the effectiveness of asoftware program.


So is anyone interested in playing a game like this? The concept is essentially exactly the same as a PS1 era game called Carnage Heart which i highly recommend playing if you like the concept layed out above. If you have playedit you may notice that there are more parts involved as compared to the original. There will also be several new chip types and the ability to program on multi-cored cpus.

 Let me know what you guys think and we will post more information as interest is shown.

Edited by: Manji022

Sep 14 2012, 1:13am Anchor

When I first read this, I thought it would be more of an AI simulator where the player is tasked to actually write the software in a programming language. It could take off if a bunch of tinkerers got in on it.

Imagine that instead of chips that the bots could load LUA scripts of differing sizes depending on the cpu loaded into the mecha. The scripts would then be able to use the api from the various bits and pieces of the mecha in to make their bi-pedal weapon of mass-destruction run, jump, fly, shoot, and tea bag fallen enemies. It would be interesting to see who could come up with the best A* module to have their bots navigate a level and buster sword enemies that are just walking into the side of buildings.

Sep 14 2012, 11:32am Anchor

I remember playing soming a little less similar called Roboforge, I would be excited to try a new one.

If your concept grows further and needs some artwork contact me and I'd be interested to help.

Jan 4 2013, 9:34pm Anchor

You are giving players too many choices. There must be some random.
Gameplay results in linear progression. You have best option, and everyone will use that best option, you lose variety.
Tho it can be "nailed" with proper design.

There was similar game called Mech Hero I think. Had same flaw I think.

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