3D Space RTS fan. Searching for life outside the homeworld :)

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Games: Play Mobile

AmDDRed Blog

Alike to the list of games I'd love to replay, I've decided to make a short-list of games I enjoyed on my phone/tablet (Android OS) and they were worth the money or time. Or both.

  • Magic 2015 - only available MtG game for Android; if you like MtG - go for it;
  • Carmageddon - after you complete all the tracks, it becomes boring; but while you're in progress...
  • Might&Magic: Clash of Heroes - this one looks like childish game, but it has a good gameplay with interesting puzzles;
  • Reigns - well, this one is fun, though I've never reached the high goal of the game, tricking the devil;
  • Stranger Things: The Game - free-to-play gem, try it;
  • Hearthstone - well, you know this, for sure, but those free-to-solve logical puzzle from the last update are amazing, so you should try it.

Will be updated. Sometimes.


Having read another post on upcoming champions with tries to think outside the box, recalling those old and not so old classic ​action heroes, like Serious Sam, Duke Nukem, Lo Wang etc, I thought about one game that was very close to Id Software core games.

Pray

I'm talking about 'Prey'. I really feel very sad that there is/were that conflict of Human Head Studios and Bethesda, that lead to denying the heritage of the title, born in torment of development hell since 3D Realms, and building something completely new, I'm not questioning the quality of the new product by Arcane - but still it's Prey In the Name Only.

Old 'Prey' was kinda cool, kinda very close to the Quake 4, Doom 3 - well, yes, including it was using idTech4, and Human Head Studios was partly Raven Software, that id-satellite studio (well, at least in some it's life moments), and the game relied heavily on slipgates, I mean, portals! And now original title is abandoned.

Well, I'm thinking that current Id Software, that revives her old and new titles in a better quality, could obtain new IP from HHS (or in cooperation with it) - without the lost title, but like Gearbox did with Homeworld: Cataclysm rereleasing it as Homeworld: Emergence (due to strange title copyright problems), old 'Prey' could be renamed somehow - I dunno, 'The Hunt'. And that would lead for players to have old game in Gog and Steam (well, you know that new Prey rewrites the old one?), and for Id Software that would mean new possibilities in developing new games, not being stuck to old IPs, and of course, new champions. Like these two guys:

Prey and Hunter

Indian guy could have secret Icon of Sin skin with cry "Domasi Tawodi about to make you his bitch!". And Active ability to have shift gravity so that everyone flies :)

The Bounty Hunter guy could use some of his trailer arsenal.

And, yes, that not the only option.

Cut

John Romero's Daikatana could have an interesting potential if redone right.

maxresdefault

Sin

And Ritual Entertainment's 'Sin' could share charismatic hero for championship: John R. Blade. As I recall, there was even demo of Sin II done on idTech4.

1

Magnetize

Also, there was the game "Magrunner: The Dark Pulse", which told us about the distant future, where some corporation under the hood of portal-like TV-show was planning to open portal to Cthulhu worlds. And this guy, Dax Ward, was one of the survivors of this successful attempt.
As QC is now strongly set in a world of Cthulhu,and this guys is somewhat of the same dimension as Slash/Anarki, it would be fun to meet him once in the planes of Dark God's twisted reality.

Dax Ward, The Magrunner

Mash-up

I believe, since upmentioned title are not really used, being consumed by FPS veteran Id Software for potential development would be better than nothing.

And have some champs from these.

Of course, IP holders might not agree on this :)

INTRODUCTION

I've always considered Quake1 and Quake2 different games, that are in serie by name only.

So, quake3 was something of a id Softwaffe Multiverse, the Vadrigari Valhalla, and while being Arena game, it still had very simple, "karmaki porno", plot: you were introduced to arena by Crash, taught by Sarge, and finally spaced by Xaero. So, every character there had their lines, their small history, like Hunter and Sorlag hatred; Wrack being lost in the Arena; Klesk experiencing loud silence of missing voice of We, his all race, slowly replacing by the voices of Vadrigari telling to kill everyone... And so on, so on.

There was a joke: "Doomer was slaughtering the Hell. 1st lap, 2nd lap, 3rd lap... 7th lap, he's finished, every demon is killed, he appears in Paradise. Angels come around him - "Hey, Doomguy, you're so great, no demons, glory to you!". Doomguy, watching this, swithes on chainssaw: "The 8th Lap!""

So, these warriors are lost in their battles, that's their personal hell - they can't stop no more, like in Sarge's intro. Or maybe Vadrigari have taken their projection with body and certain state of mind, so these are trapped in ethernal respawn cycle, and Xaero like no one knows this, like budhist dressed guy :)

And this is very much like Q1, which was very Lovecraftish, with brilliant OST by NIN - and not even first, menu track, but the others, with crazy ambient, with whispers, probably, those that talked with Klesk after all. For Q2 we had Q4, QW:ET, and I'd love to return to Q1 Universe, to have brutal gameplay in environment of Clive Barker's Undying or Call of Chtulhu or Magrunner: Dark Pulse. Like Doom3. But with Chtulhu instead of Hell. :)

Also Q3 with all these characters marked the history and potential plots for another games: another dimensions of Q1, Strogg war of Q2, distopia cyberpunk streets of future Earth, interstellar travels with pirates and so on, just read the bio and phrases of chars.

Well, I hope that Quake Champions will be a true continuator of Q3A. And here are some my ideas what could be taken from old id classic to new incarnation.

EXISTING GLADIATORS

Well, for now in QC there are Ranger, Scalebearer, Visor, Anarki, Sorlag, Clutch, Nyx,Slash, Galena, William "B.J." Blazkowicz, Doom, Keel, Strogg&Peeker, Death Knight, Athena and Eisen.
Part of these gladiators have been seen earlier:

  • Ranger is classic hero of Quake1;
  • B.J. is classic hero of Wolfenstein;
  • Visor, Anarki, Slash, Sorlag, Keel are gladiators in Q3A;
  • Nyx might be inspired by Q3A Mynx gladiator;


  • Galena is definetely inspired by Q3TA Crusader faction:
  • Clutch is inspired by Q3-wanna-be-successor Reflex Arena standard (well, only) character; I'd better had TankJr, which, basically, has about the same proportions...
  • Strogg & Peeker is inspired by Strogg classes from Quake Wars: Enemy Territory:
  • Death Knight is a direct link to one Quake Guy enemy:
    QC Death Knight Hero 1920x870
  • Athena is Quake2 multiplayer model, that was released as a toy:
    Quake 2 toys
  • And Scalebearer with Eisen are something new;

GLADIATORS FROM OTHER UNIVERSES

And I guess there is a place for another gladiators. And let's think about what they could be.
Quake 3 gladiators are not heroes, not nice and handy characters; they are anti-heroes, the fallen one, those who stuck in a battle for too much time, like forever. If collect those guys, then it would look like Suicide Squad, Predators or Broforce company. Some stereotypical, even archetypical guys with special skills...

I think, that as other id Software games characters are used, then probably, they are first candidates to appear as a new Gladiators.

  • Wolfenstein: Blazkowicz - already there;
  • Doom: Doom guy - already there;
  • Quake1: Quake guy a.k.a. Ranger - already there;
  • Quake2: quake2 guy a.k.a. Bitterman - he had his model in Q3A, but he's kinda very standard and hard to understand what his special abilities will be and special outfit...
  • Quake4: Matthew Kane - Stroggified human, looks cool for a gladiator, and his special ability is reading and Strogg texts; at least his outfit could be modified to show Strogg speznaz variations. Well, it always thought that Visor is stroggish, but he appeared to be Moscowish. Well, Matthew Kane will be the real Strogg Renegade.
  • Quake Wars: Enemy Territory: probably, parts of Strogg soldiers were so cool, that it was decided that it will look cool as new Quake Champion, Strogg & Peeker.

I know nothing about 'RAGE' or 'Commander Keen' games, so I will write nothing about them.

But let's checkout Q3A.

QUAKE 3 ARENA LORDS

CRASH

Basically, she look like Doom female version and she's never considered as a boss. But still it was a nice model; And she's your crash course instructor. Your trainer, so that you can pass Sarge, after all! :)

On the other hand, don't underestimate her... She's a Doom-girl, after all :)


SARGE

Well, it's kinda ethernal sargeant, very stereotypical. He's face is a combination of Arnold Schwarznegger and Clint Eastwood if we look at the model, but more like old John Cena if we watch the Q3 intro.

But, like I've already said you can take some guy with a square face, paint it white - and voila. Remember colonel Miles Quaritch from Avatar? Or Basil Plumbey from We were soldiers?

It's interesting, that in Quake Live Sarge is without the cigar. Oh, these day's modern gaming industry!..

There's even possibility to use Doom3 Sarge - Thomas Kelly, to have something of a link to that game; At least his armor type. Or his opponent, Jack Campbell, they both look pretty much 'sargish'. Anyway, we need just the armor design with certaine archetype. Or even, he can have skins with armor from different id games - from Doom to Quake4, including Wolfenstein's.

As for his Special Ability, I'd say, that I see him more Q3-oriented champion, Visor alike - mb, even with similar stats - and with special ability to restore ammo for all of his weapons. Old experienced Sarge knows that you need to take more ammo in battle... Plus that, ammo boxes and weapon speeds up ability restore. And mb, team mates near by will receive ammo too. And mb, some anarki-style effect time, with achievement "Reloaded" for killing enemies in time of.

HUNTER

Well, her initial look probably was a little bit free-minded, but on the other hand she is a tribal woman most probably from tropical areas, so it's completely understandable to wear this kind of outfit. But censorship is censorship, and in Quake Live steam cards she has changed.

I think, she's the one that needs to be in Quake Champions. I guess she'll be Quake's Wonder Woman in her original outfit. Besides, she's a natural enemy of the Sorlag, so she definitely need to appear in-game. There is question about her active ability, but it could be thought out. Also, her outfit can be modified in a various ways - Tribal, Predator, Barbarian, Aztec, African, Celtic... Like Heavy Metal Predator or else:


Beautiful Africa-style women

It would be cool if her shaders would change her battle tattoo/drawings.
This one I've tried to draw by my one:


KLESK

According to the lore he's telepathic and hears voices; I'd say that he could make visions to appear: so everyone around will hear strange sounds, will see distorted, and two bots same as him as distractions, shooting same time. I hope there will be possibility to get 'Flisk'-looking Klesk.


ANARKI

Well, he's already implemented, and now it's looks like classic extraverted Cyberpunk Hacker or else. But the thing is that original Anarki had mouse sewed, which ment that he was totally introverted, not allowing anyone to get inside of his thought. And it was inspired by a gamers that spend all their time in-games, thus game reality becoming their reality - Q3 Anarki was in his cybervision only.

Very good analysis of this character you can find HERE.

URIEL

Vadrygar original hero or anti-hero, and most probably, he's a demon, Doom's antagonist; and there are two options for his special ability: it's a fog/mist from his arena; or a pentagram setup for imidiate teleportation in case of need;

XAERO

Zero is a cybernethic monk. Hard to say what is his ability, but something could be done about meditation - like health restore, or like taking Q3TA powerup, he'll be invincible and static for a period of time; for a passive ability he might have 'flying tiger, crouching dragon ability' - double jump, for example. Or not, as Doom guy will definetely have this ability. Anyway, there's plenty way's to upgrade this guys outfit (including Bruce Lee costume) as despite his cyber-something from the back, he's quite stereotypical:

And talking of Visor's mask - he was not the only one with mask, you know!

QUAKE 3 ARENA GLADIATORS

And there are other guys. Some of them have multiple skins, and it would be nice to be taken into consideration when creating outfit for a certain character.

My drawings about some of the gladiators:

MYNX

Well, her name tells it all: 'Someone or something that is fucking great or can dominate at ease' (c) urbandictionary. With such a name, bio, and lips of Angelina Jolie, she wouldn't make to the modern gaming world. So they replaced it with Nyx, who looks kinda similar, but different.


SLASH

This girl is already implemented a bit censorshipped. Sounds nasty. Interesting analysis of this char you can find HERE.

SORLAG

This girl is implemented too but her initial model looks a lot more different from QC Sorlag. It was more untraditional, and really, looks like Scalebearer with a strange legs and head.

RANGER

Well, this guy is already implemented. It would be interesting to make him look like Wrack for variability in look.
It's interesting, that after Doom-girl, instructor, you meet Quake-guy. Ranger's lost, and so do you. And you gotta find your way out of this Arena hell :)
But there is skin called Wrack - another one talking name - and I'd like to know more about another one quake-guy, lost in Slipgates... Or it would be cool, if Ranger would have an attachable beard and moustache like Anarki does.

VISOR/GORRE

He's already implemented and I think he looks gorgeous, so there's no need to turn to his look in Q3 or his clone Gorre. Though it would be interesting to see the fight, who's the best. Like Ryu vs. Ken :))

DOOM/PHOBOS

As I've already told, Doom is most probably in plans for implementation, so I'd talk of Phobos. If you remember Doom3: RoE, then marine's outfit was different from D3: green vs. blue. So, Phobos - is a third guy from a forgotten add-on, Lost mission. And he should have orange suit :) Anyway, on a new engine, it's just shaders, not entire skin change.



BITTERMAN

Some say that he looks like Bruce Willis, and that he was Q2 war hero, but Q2 was oldskull game that had a player as action hero, not some Gordon Freeman or else guys, who steals all the glory afterall...

On the other hand he has quite strange hairs, and alternative skins, so as his fate was unclear after killing Macron (not the French president, you know), so he might become something of a Matthew Kane, only with completed and updated program, so he will become something of a Terminator.

MAJOR/DAEMIA


Like in the case of Bitterman, nothing to add here: it's a Major, Q2 playable character (in MP, of course). With Bitterman, Sarge and Grunt, she makes a nice Strogg War team. Beside's that - well, cool looking fighter. She could speak spanish, as her another skin - Daemia - does.

GRUNT/STRIPE


Another one anonymous grunt from Q2 Strogg War. Even bio of his reskin - Stripe isn't helping.

KEEL

Well, this is another one human cyborg, this time with some alien tech. Shoots grenades in QC. But original Q3 version of Keel is more mature and interesting than kinda stereotypical QC Keel, IMHO.

ORBB



Orbb is an interesting thing: it's like journalist on war that decided to take weapon instead of camera in his hands. Also, it's player inpersonification than some archtype or popular hero inspiration: you run with your hands, and you have only eye; hard to say what skills it might have - manchkinism? :) But it's cool looking character. Interesting analysis of this char can be found HERE.

BIKER/HOSSMAN/CADAVER

Well, I'd create a mixture of a Biker and Hossman. He doesn't look like something special (even from the Q3), but he's looking cool and could have a variation of his outfit, including Cadaver prison robe.

So, I can imagine some story of him, that his name is Hossman, was the biker gang leader (like "Hell raiders"), once robbing some van found a Necronomicon, started reading it, couldn't stop, organized cult with human sacrifice, got caught and electrified. Story can be various, like escaping prison, got skinned alive and like Rasputin not be killed; or some Hellraiser stuff, when his suffering are brought from the other dimension, so then he's wondering the Elder Realm with endless pain and anger, as he suffers and he still cannot die.

I'd suppose electro charge for him as ability. Or some choking with chain or guts :) Or both.

PATRIOT/RAZOR

Razor story is kinda typical, but Patriot's more interesting: we can read about his active ability - he's a vampire. So, while active ability he could convert damage done to others. And of course, Patriot can share his original model - Razor - outfit.


TANK JR.

Strogg War enemy, that has a lot to tell to humans. Well, I guess we can forget about seeing him in-game as there's Clutch. But.. who knows?


LUCY/ANGEL

Lucy is one of the anti-heroes gladiator. Nothing more. Like Biker. And Angel.. Beautiful, body-positive, but what her special ability could be?...

Part of the Femme Fatales of the Q3A, including Slash, Lucy and Hunter:

BONES

And, finally, Bones, simply bones. As Bones are stupidly simple model, we can count that Death Knight is a spiritual successor of Bones.

CONCLUSIONS

Well, it's hard to make any prophetic conclusion.

We might think of gladiators coming in pairs, and we saw that Anarki had Slash, Scalebearer had Nyx, Ranger has Death Knight, Strogg&Peeker with Athena might be considered as a q2 pair, Clutch has Eisen (the engineer has robot's vanity in his outfit)... So we might think about some other pairings, especially as there are some clues. Like, there's Hunter feather in Sorlag's artifacts... And Klesk appearing in Keel's story... So one of these might be in a plan for upcoming champions. For now it's solo for Visor, Galena, BJ, Doom... Doom could stand against Uriel, and BJ might rise some Nazi zombie - like this Q3TA Fritzkrieg (though, he requires redesign, IMHO). And Visor against Patriot :)

But as Visor speaking Russian, and Eisen speaking German, we can wait for more non-english speaking champions, like Daemia or Xaero. This could be decided upon the player's language selection statistics or planned target audience. :)

Then there are my preferences: I'd love to see Hunter, Klesk, Sarge, Xaero, Orbb, Patriot and Matthew Kane, because for other ones I can't think of any special ability - like, Q3 Strogg War warriors were soldier - what specials then? And for the leftoovers, I'd love to get some classic TDM/CTF w/o abilities, but with good old updated models characters. Also, it would be cool to have Quake4 soldiers against Doom3 marines, mb, against QW:ET sides... Something of a QC: Team Arena :)))

LINKS

Great thanks to following sites:

Homeworld: Baserunners

AmDDRed Blog

...100 years ago, a satellite detected an object under the sands of the Great Desert.

An expedition was sent...

HW1 original baserunner

That was original HW1 baserunner of 1999. In 2003 it has changed a little bit:

HW2 baserunner

Well, it could be counted as different machine of a different expedition, as there were at least two of them...

But then BBI developers have shown baserunner version of 2013, with some weaponry. Well, time was not so peaceful that time... But kinda interesting - is it some early stages of HW:DoK?..
HW2013 baserunner

And then in HWR artists used the same picture for HW1 and HW2, marking that it's the same expedition. And design has changed once again:

HW1R baserunner

HW2R baserunner

And in 2016 we will see final version - canonical (if we can say it about something that rewrites the very first game) - of baserunner.
HW_2016_baserunner

There was a funny moment in HW2 beginning: was told that the taii have JOINED the vaygr.

For me it's quite nonsense. Of course, the original HW/HWC script writer wrote a book where Russian & China have made united country (this script is one of the usual stupid beliefs about Russia, among the "bears walking in the cities" and balalaika, vodka, ushanka, perestroika), but he made the Taiidani Republic exist.
If we take the vay-gr as the chinese, and the taiidani as Soviet, now russians, does it make sence? Okey, for somebody - yes, but not for russians. These are two very different cultures. It's more likely that Russia joines the EU than the China, that already is hardly believable. I guess, the West simply misses that old understandable Cold War enemy. The China and the Islamic countries are quite chaotic, and it's unclear how to fight with country that makes you rich (low cost production), or with the religion, that calls it's zealots to conquer the infidels and denies all the Western values. The Soviets were so simple! :)

The same goes here: after these words I felt like V & T had such of a conversation:
- Hey, guys! Where are you going?
- To Hiigara!
- Oh, yeah? Take us with you!

Another one absolute evil. As the Taii Emperor, as the Turanic Raiders, as the T-Mat, as the Beast...

But okey. Actually, we can think of these words as the official Hiigarian propaganda. Like every country, it has the official position to this and that question, and tries to convince it's people that it is true - to make it easier to manipulate. It's not always bad, but usually it's not good. Like "everybody lies" (c) Dr. Haus.

Let's remember what happend when the Exiles returned from the Hegira. They did - what? - the same thing that the taiidans made with them. And again I really doubt that they could make the billion population world (the capitol of the Taii Empire!) disappear. They really did the same thing with the taiidanies, just more cruel.

They haven't let go the ones who were guilty of Kharak massacre. They made the taiidans - the ones that came from the other taii worlds, and the ones that were hiigarian descendants - the citizens of the 2nd sort (like it happened with russians in post-soviet republics), thus building the "Golden Billion" system and following the Siidim way - dividing people into pure and unpure gritiidims...

Of course, this circumstance was quite annoying to the new Taiidani Republic and it's people, but they needed this "formal non-aggression and co-operation pact" and further in-law relationships for normal existance in Galactic Council. But still, after the threat of the taii imperialists has dissappeared, everybody remembered that taiidani were empire once! And they could do it one more time! Especially, as many lords of taiidani empire assembly were presented in Republic government. So, no matter how tried, taiidans were bad...

So when the Makkan came, he said - "join us or die", and the taii imperialists agreed, as they were too weak to resist, and Makaan really represented their forgotten claim for Hiigara and Emperor. But the republicans were fighting - they had things to lose, but they could not resist the uberlong hyperspace jumps of Makaan fleet: while they were gathering fleet at one point, he was far away. And I think he made the same trick with taiidani, as the the taiidani made with Kharak: he said "Give up, or I will destroy the Taidan, your homeworld!"...

And thus came out that the taii have JOINED the vaygr...

After playing System Shock 2 Infinite, I've thought about Doom3. In some ways they are quite similar: dark corridors of human-built environment, survivalism, lockers with codes, computers and so on. Of course, these are two different type games: Doom3 is mostly one-way shooter, System Shock 2 mostly allows player to choose waypath, gameplay tactics and character skills development strategy.
But Doom3 has assets that could be used in some kind of System Shock remake. System Shock 1 was rereleased recently - but it's really old, and for modern players it's hard to get to it. There were tryings to get SS1 modernised via Revert3D engine by direct conversion, but it has no progress for a quite of a time. There's even remake of it called "Citadel", created on Unity5 engine. But the same as remakes of SS2 on other engines (Source, and most incredible - CryEngine realisation, that I'd recommend to llook on YouTube, hackkker), they could be blocked by IP owners.
And on the other hand there is Dark Mod - "Thief" inspired modification for Doom3, that became stand-alone free game. It took "thief" gameplay mechanics - and then there was only need for a new maps, that income quite frequently, if I'm not wrong. So, probably, while you copy concept of a gameplay it's quite OK, then when you make a direct plagiat. Why don't we use it for Doom3?

Imagine: you will have ability to hack lockers; medkit terminals will be modified not only to heal you, but also to upgrade your skills. Doom3 even has enough space for magic (a.k.a. psy-powers): remember the SOUL CUBE? or Demon Heart? Of course, you need to hold it in two hands, but in System Shock 2 and Bioshock it was the same thing, you coudn't hold weapon and use magic in the same time. Sure, we can make one-hand magic to combine it with pistol and flashlight.

There is game, similar to SS2 and BS1/2 by gamedesign of weaponry, it's Clive Barker's Undying (I'd really love to see it in redone in HD). So, we could take some scrye (night vision analogue), invoke (similar to control but with already dead ones - become the zombie master!) and scull storm - imagine flying head around you, going for any enemy in sight? There could be a lot magic in D3, so that Quake Guy would jump of the slipgate trying to kill you as he will think you're one of the Shambler witchers!

I already imagine this kind of powers:

  • Shield - like in Q3
  • Control - remember demons fighting each other when they got misshit?
  • Invisibility - stealth action! invisible rambo!
  • Invulnerability - D3:RoE
  • Berserk - D3:RoE; Quad Damage!
  • Haste/Slow time - D3:RoE
  • Fire line - idea from Archvile;
  • Summoning - idea from Archvile;
  • Mass destruction - D3!
  • Single unit destruction - Fireballs from usual demon up to Hellknight;
  • Shocking, Freezing, slowing down etc.
  • Enlight - see in darkness
  • Revive
  • Skull guardians
  • Telekinesis - gravity gun features, would be fun to have it along weapon handling;
  • And so on...

So, for this idea there must be:

  • Magic skills invented and added to the list of artifacts superpowers;
  • Upgrade system invented - will it be inner, EXP-based (you kill mfs, you get points to spend it on skills/magic) or it's outer, quest-based (you get skill points by script);
  • Some RPG system;
  • Some inventory system;
  • Weapon upgrade system - more ammo, different types of ammo, scopes, laseraims and whatever;

I don't like idea of player cannot use weapon if he has no skill of it - when STALKER developers thought on RPG system, they decided not to use it as anyway player would master his game skill along playing, but forcing player to play worse feels stupid. I believe that's why total weakness of Penumbra or althetime madness of Call of Cthulhu player feels weird - damn, you are armed with hammer and you can't kill fucking dog, which is same fragile as you are, actually?! damn, you see weird shit all the time, but you're still going mad? Probably, that's why I like Quake and Doom3 - you see crazy hellish/cthulhish/stroggish shit of your worst nightmares, but you gather your shit together and reload your shotgun again and again. In "Aliens vs. Predator" 1&2 player had both powerful guns and control over it, but still it was scary game.

I'd suppose something like that (SS2 inspired):

Stats:

  • Strength - melee combat and carrying size;
  • Agility - speed, jumping, reloading etc;
  • Endurance - health, protection;
  • Psychics - magic strength
  • Technics - technical skills

Quite simple isn't it? First triad is universal (it can even be setup at the beginning of the game, or thrown away to have predictable gameplay...), psychic skills allows you to cast better spells, technic skills allows you to maintain, modify and repair weapons. Psychic and technical skills are conditions for weapon and spell upgrade - you can use weapon or spell, but if you have not enough skill point, you would not be able to upgrade to 2nd or 3rd level, or even to modify if it's complex spell or weapon (BFG!).

Well, there can be invented something better, of course. Bioshock or similar game (like Dishonored) should be checked for ideas. But it's just a concept anyway.

Human brains are divided into two hemispheres, and though they are working together as one, each of hemispheres has it's preferences.
There were experiments on disabling brain hemispheres by electroshock, and it appeared that human being act quite different in these situations. For example, while only left hemisphere was working, human is very rational but unemotional; with right hemisphere active, human is very emotional and cannot speak much - due to the fact, that most of the memory abstract tags like words, numbers etc belong to left side of the brain.

This was approved by patients with brain damage or those, that had brain operation dividing major connection between hemispheres. Last one from now on felt like "double-persons" because of brains halves were functioning more independent. They had interesting effect: as hemispheres control opposite sides of the body, with their right hand they could only write, and with left hand they could draw, as right hemisphere is about right-here-right-now visual perception and left hemisphere about encoding in tags for past analysis and future prediction.

So same goes with the other senses: ears, eyes... For example, if you want to have better sense of you talking on phone, you have get your phone to the right ear, if you want to have better understanding of emotions expressed on the other side, you'd better listen to your phone by left ear. And I believe this should work with eyesight: it's connected to have one picture but still each eye has it's angle and ending point in hemisphere.

Getting back to UI, here comes some simple suggestion: so if left part of a picture belongs to visual perception of right-now moment, and right part of a picture belongs to analytics and prediction, then why don't UI is organised in natural way? So, leave left side for monitoring battlefield, minimap and , maybe, important unit current status. And right side leave for buttons, building and so on - something to operate with.
This also would cooperate with the fact the most of the human beings are right-handed, and that means while moving mouse it's faster and more convenient to operate within the area that could be circulated around monitor lower right corner as a center of a sector.

But of course, having convenient shortcut keys would make gamepaly even more pleasant for those who have passed introductionary course of a game and its UI :)

Homeworld: Kadeshi

AmDDRed Blog

Well, we can see that there's very much attention to the Bible in the Homeworld - especially in the campaign part. And it's kind of confronting game manual. I'm very confused with it, really.

Authors merged too much senses together, so it's now quite unclear what their position was.

But destiny of Kadeshi is quite clear from this point of view.

...

While watching "The Double" I've managed to recall such films as "Brasil" and "The Dark City". Well, decorations reminded me of spaceships - System Shock 2, Pandorum, Event Horizon, Fallout bunker Nr. 13 (ok, not a spaceship) - dark, gloomy, everything is known for a long time, same persons, same places, restrictions and rules... Sounds like Kafka's hell - people just doing what they've been told, every day is exactly the same, society grows their children to obey, follow the rules to survive... Something like in "Captive Universe" of Harry Harrison. Or Ursula Le Guin novel, where habitants of colony ship started doubting if there is world outside the ship.

And if so, then people grown up in claustrophobic space would admire agoraphobic doors of The Great Hangar, separating them for the Great Wastelands of Cosmos (and Chaos same time), Nietzsche's Void that looks into your soul, while you look into the mirror...

Great sacrifices as a Great Goal.

Homeworld: Squadrons

AmDDRed Blog

HW1 was counting ships by unit per class - so much per fighter, so much per corvettes etc.
HWC was counting ships by crew - so much supports unit per one type of ship, so much per another type.
HW2 was counting ships by squadron numbers - so much units in squadrons, so much squadrons are allowed per class.

Squad system wasn't used only in HW2 - it was also seen in Haegemonia and WH40K:Dawn of War. Last one was also Relic's doing, and I liked it more then StarCraft, for example. :P
One of the things I liked there was squad improvements: like space marine squad could be converted to tank busters, shootah boyz, heavy unit killers and so on. Along this, squads could have a hero: create a mighty unit - something WarCraft3 influnced - and then just add it to the squad as an addition. Or make a sergeant. This way, quite weak squad of imperial guardsmen, for example, could be turned into something you need to be aware of.

As we see, we can count ships in HW in three ways - it's quite interesting how HW series inside itself has turned into genre experimental lab - by unit, by SU, by squadrons. And me find advantages in all three ways of counting ships (like sheep to the rhytm of the war drums...) - all three can be combined together making player head explode. Squadrons allows you control less while having the same numbers. Counting per class can limit unit number max count, and counting per unit would create variations of strategies for player (of course, then class limits alltogether should be a lot bigger then SU limit).

What am I aiming to? Well, like in big 4x TBS strategies, there should be squad constructor. Can be opened in-game, but better to construct your dream squad - with basic, advanced tactics, with formation selection, with units selected and their behaviour, random icon, before the game. Of course, if you setup squadrons with too complicated conditions - too expensive, too research-advanced, too much SU - then you might not get in-game. So, you will have to balance it yourself. From game developers it would require only to balance unit themselves, set price and SU for single units, mb, basic squads like in HW2. Of course, squadron prices won't be so round as they are now (350-500-550 etc).

Like in real life - you have basic squad of 8 men (NATO standard), but it can be enforced by machinegunner, grenade guy etc, increased its number to 12 or more - depending on the tasks to execute.

So, you would be able, to create squads of interceptors, strengthtened with defence fighters. Or Heavy Resolution squad of minelayer corvette, defenders and defence fighter to protect resource spot. Of course, you need to have control of separate units, but this, probably, could be done with solution of fleet tactics - you would be able to set single unit actions, but it won't excluded from the squadron.
Capital ship combination with strike craft would do nicely: ICF + Flak, or Missile Destroyer + bomber squadrons and support units of support frigate, repair corvette/worker, defence field frigate, defence fighter etc
Talking of support units - their behaviour needs to have separate triggers so they don't try to kill everyone instead of repairing or protecting units by force shield - less of micromanagement. They can be added in DoW way, actially - squad + support unit: not attacking with everyone, not guarding, not following, but supporting, doing their staff depending on specialization. And if this support unit is set up as part of squadron, it would be easier to understand what's going on the battlefield - to see not all the ships, but tactical groups.

Of course, need to think of recursive squadroning - "dawg, I herd you like squadrons, so I put a squadron in your squadron so you can...". Yeah, because we can... Nah, no squadrons in squadron :D.

It reminds me of Impossible Creature, actually - another one Relic's project, where you could create animal mutants with flaws and advantages of each animal part. Create you perfect squadron, meh!

And as we started talk of "parts" ("to become selves"), capital ships could be constructed in R.E.A.R.M. or Complex or... I dunno... Endless Space way - with setting up armor, ammo etc. Of course, it would require balancing of capital ship class and then with strike crafts... Well, it's much more complex then squadron creation that is just cumulative combing of existing ships.

Well, after all player will get his dream squadron capable of attacking and defending itself, instead of getting single fighter that would die in a seconds alone.

3DS RTS

AmDDRed Blog 2 comments

...or 3-Dimensional Space Real Time Strategies.

0a. Homeworld (28.09.1999)

Hail to the king, baby! In some ways still unbeatable 3DS RTS.

Being the first, HW wasn't the ugly duckling: it has found it's style, and way of controlling camera, unit classes etc has become standard for similar type of games.

There are still advantages of HW1 engine, despite moddability problems (races, ships, abilities are hardcoded), it has more advanced physics system, ship behaviour etc then HW2.

0b. Homeworld Cataclysm (30.06.2000)

Only 7 month to develop! It included story, sound, models, gameplay design and source code update. Gearbox says, they're missing the source code, yeah...

Started as add-on, HWC became standalone game. Probably, because it would take too much effort to make HW engine flexible. So, HWC has become advanced mod for HW1 (like HW1 campaign for HWR).

Well, it have included two new races (1 consisted of old HW1 ships), completely different, with a lot interesting features - so multiplayer of HWC was totally different to HW1 and more interesting. Unit experience gathering, unit building restricted only to man count and other interesting features. Like, modules were first introduced here, waypoints, time fastening, ordering in Sensors Manager screen... Some buttons were redefined here, but overall nothing big has changed since HW UI.

0c. Homeworld 2 (16.09.2003)

New engine, new rules, great moddability with lua-scripting, but also simplified physics and unit behaviour. But now it had great multiplayer - with 2 races that were different enough to have interesting fights. But this time it was more about the strategy not tactics and microcontrol.

What was new in UI - slide camera when mouse at the edge, move and attack order, big formation for the whole fleet so that you could form up groups consisting of different ship classes moving with the same speed. And GUI that did not required to close view of battle to build, launch or research something. Also, movement was done more easy - just click RMB and select point at map.

1. The Rift / Far Gate (11.09.2001)

First competitor to HW - but it was few years late. No good engine, no good models - horrible trailer shows it all. BUT. I'd play this just to check what improvements or flaws they have made in UI of 3DS RTS.

Well, if the game itself is good, it could be remastered.

2. Project Earth: Starmageddon (26.04.2002)

This one looked promissing... BUT. Despite pretty good picture and quite interesting features, this game was ruined by UI. Bad voice acting - who's interested in this shit? But UI... It was using WASD movement to go through the space. No other chance to get to the point of the battlefield - no sensors manager a.k.a. big map to see whole picture of the battle, no concentration on units, no pause, to attack or move units you have to click RMB in space which may lead your unit engine knows where - it's fkn 3D not 2D! And then you had few plane battles that no one had told you about... Well, I gave it a few tries and I'd return to this game only if republished version would have HW-like UI.

Well, if the game itself is good, it could be remastered.

3. Haegemonia (01.05.2002)

This is not HW. It's more like 4X RTS - with planet colonisation, large technology tree - well, light version of SoaSE but with real 3D movement. Actually, it reminded me real time version of Endless Space - just simplified. Well, game is still looking good. Despite it's age, it's still beautiful - spaceoperish design of ships, planets, meteor belts etc - all was done with great love. Only 3D characters appearing from time to time - "I want to be your hero, sir!" - are lacking charisma. Music and campaign are quite spaceoperish also, so you won't find anything to catch on. Actually, sometimes I was misleaded by music into the memories of Disciples II.

But if we are interested in tactics and strategy, I'd say, that you will find strategy only: tactical fights are missing, big guns resolves everything. Well, of course there is possibility of controlling units in 3D space, but it won't help you much except for covert operations - like in O.R.B. you had whole solar system under your control (or several) but this time you could colonize them, and have radar sensors around, so sneaking here and there with 3D space is more interesting then two-way path of 2D plane. But overall big map was 2D - probably, that's why big map (on space) wasn't something you could rotate and fine tune to your needs (same problems like in O.R.B.).

It's interesting, that Haegemonia was first to introduce squads (at least among 3DS RTS) - ships came in squads (though you had to build them separately) so you have kinda balance of light ships in numbers to heavy ones outnumbered. Also, mouse side slide was first introduced here. Of course, by default, Y-axis was inverted, but it wasn't restricted by options to return it to natural statement. Well, focusing was working strange - instead of close focusing on ship, second click on MMB (or F) released camera from following - but that's more likely because of the 2D map nature of this game when you have no big need to turn your camera straight up or straight down - well, HW2 (don't know if HW1/C) had same problems, so that vertical maps are not quite welcome. Humans!...

Well, it's a nice example of a game, there are modding tools - I've seen them at modDB, so, any three races of HW would fit the mod for Haegemonia. Especially, as there is no need for diversity of ships - just, colony ship, marine ship, fighter, corvette, few more capitals and space bases. Voila!

4. O.R.B. (08.11.2002)

First pretty successful Homeworld clone. Beautiful backgrounds - great work with editor that allows to create solar systems. Even after 12 years it looks hillarious. But models - they are blocky and boring. Story - well, everything from HW combined together in not so effective manner.

In general it's HW UI. But There are interesting ideas on improving HW UI - like CTRL use for moving, fast waypoints and other things. Pressing middle mouse button (a.k.a. wheel) makes camera move along horizontal plane - well, it's the continuation of 3D modelling editors practices, just without unneeded features. Besides that there are a lot of features - like custom behavior setup, a lot of formations, spionage etc etc etc... But boring gameplay and gamedesign didn't help to use all these features.

Well, actually it's a pity, that there were no modding tools for this game, as it would increase life of a product. For example, HWC somtaaw would fit perfectly into this system: beautiful ships + beautiful backgrounds...

The game was quite good, it could be remastered. Or even to have some continuation. Who would dare? :)

5. Nexus: The Jupiter Accident (05.11.2004)

First, it was Imperium Galactica III, then it switched name and genre. Now it's 3DS Tactics. Very beautiful even now - just look at this solar system maps, at these ships inspired from Space Odyssey 2010... And they are even animated quite correctly!

Mouse RMB camera control and zoom in/out on wheel is HW-inspired, and it's quite confusing to have no default plane to orient to. At least it could have been setup by your main ship position (or special key + other one you select). But actually, you find out quickly, that picture in front of you is just for fun. You will assign all your orders by clicking GUI-elements. Press pause, check closest enemy, select way of destruction - by artillery strikes, by heavy gun usage or fine tuning by cutting out enemy ship subsystems - weapon systems, energy batteries, shields... Actually, in later game, it turns out to be game "who's shield is the weakest" - if you disable enemy shield and make shield generator dead, you just watch how enemy is cut to pieces by your forces. And to control every ship of your fleet, you need to use pause a lot - well, biggest key on the keyboard should be used most often, isn't it?

And, actually, there is nothing in this game but orders where and how to hit assigning. Oh, you can also enable stealth mode and scan your enemy, but you can't move anywhere except for predefined points and already existing objects on the map. You can't order you ships to move in random direction - just in direction of storyline object, or object to destroy to. And that leads to strange situations when two groups of ships just stand in front of each other and shoot without manoeuvring.

But overall, it turned to be a nice game, so it's pity, that Nexus 2 wasn't able to collect enough money on Kickstarter. Trailer was awesome, and I hope that some managers responsible for denial of N2 got fired after Gearbox successfully remastered Homeworld 1/2.

Btw, there is fine official modding manual and tools coming game install. At least, in GOG version.

6a. Star Wolves 1 (12.11.2004)
6b. Star Wolves 2 (2006)
6c. Star Wolves 3 (15.05.2009)

It's not 3DS RTS, it's 3DS RPG Tactics: you control carrier and fighters piloted by your mercenary team: fight pirates, get quests, gain experience and buy new fighters, weapons and ammo.

UI is similar to HW. But no big ships, actually. You will suck fighting government fleet ships...

Also, there is strange story about SW 2-3. SW3: Civil War is actually SW2 reincarnation. And real SW3: Ashes of Victory are stuck in development hell.

7. Flotilla (29.03.2010)

Fast session game similar to FTL or Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space or Atom Zombie Smasher (btw, Flotilla is from the same studio Blendo Games) - procedurally generated worlds, events. You have ship, then you travel from planet to planet, meet pirates, find new ships for your fleet...

Blocky design isn't a problem for this game, problem is about WASD-controlling. Even with pauses (set destination, facing and prioritisation - and 1 minute fight), it is hard to setup your ship behaviour. Imagine, you're in the middle of a fight, your ships and enemy ships are mixed - and what was OK while "chess starting position", is failed control now. You can't set camera to follow certain ship or group of ship (have a point to rotate around), as you are object yourself, so you are rotating around your own axis. And like in FPS games, you need 6 buttons + mouse to control your position, plus you need to follow what happens with your fleet and control it. So camera absolute freedom brings too much problems to 3DS RTS while having only one advantage - freedom of camera!

Besides that Flotilla pausing gameplay with manual ship control brings another problem: fight of 2vs2 already takes too much time - and with conditions when noone promises you fair fights (it's procedurally generated world!) but a lot of retries, you might be disappointed in this game. Well, there is a demo, so you can try it out.

8. Ancient Space (23.09.2014)

Haven't played this one, but I've seen "Let's Play" of it, and it was boring. WASD control, hard to tell if there's 3D or 2D space, static ships, positional battles... Reminded O.R.B. heavily to me, so conluding upmetioned, I decided to spend my money on something else.

9a. Void Destroyer (20.01.2015)

More like Wing Commander, but it seems like there is possibility to control units without piloting HW alike. It's a one-man-army game, so I cannot really complain about the overall design decisions of a first (?) big game, but still these cel-shading models make my feeling of a beatiful to be confused.

9b. Void Destroyer 2 (Early Access)

Looks like evolution of VD1, bigger, larger, better, but, IMHO, cell-shading 'lego'-design with ships looking like early childhood toys is not for everyone. Especially, those pictures from Kickstarter page made my eyes bleed seeing all these bright colors on a blue stub-skybox background. Not denying all the work the developer had done on game, I believe, he should hire some professional artist, just to add human color-correction, and color accents.

10. Nomad Fleet (14.07.2015)

It would have been a good mixture of FTL and HW, but the developer lacked a lot things - experience, game designer, tester, UI-designer and so on, so the game is frustrating and needs a lot of polishing. Mb, from technical point of view it's a release, but from the game point of view, it's still an alpha-version.

On the other hand, title had been created and I can only wish to its creator to develop it further in the right direction of remasters or NM2.

11. Ceres (16.10.2015)

Looks a bit ugly, and most probably it's not strategy but tactics game, like Nexus or Star Wolves, with a bit more complexity. I've tried to play it, but the demo failed on the menu level - setting won't close, so I decided, that with such testing and UI development level all the other things might be broken as well. You might be luckier then me, but the word 'lucky' is not what I want from application.

12. Deep Space Settlement (Abandoned)

3DS RTS. Base building, ship customization... No playable demo available, official site says game still in progress, but this ship seems to be abandonded.

13. Shallow Space (Abandoned)

Game's Early Access is available at Steam, but developer has abandoned the game. Enough said.



Article will be updated from time to time.

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