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A Unique Resource Collecting Mechanic - Thoughts?

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DSfan
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Joined: 12/31/1969

After a recent post by Brykovian saying Don't be afraid to backoff from a path in order to take a new look at it from a new direction, I came up with a (what I think) is a unique resource collecting mechanic for 2 opposing races.

The main idea is that 1 race wants to reclaim territory by expanding, while the other doesn't want that to happen. After reading this a few times, and thinking back on the resources, I came up with this:

The Humans gain resources by expanding there territory. This could be met in 2 different ways. Either having more troops than the other player in a section (gaining VP's quickly) or building temples (can only get VP's at the end, but gets you more).

The Aliens gain resources by destorying opposing units/and or buildings.

So what do you guys think about this mechanic? Does in sound like it would work, be fun etc...? Do you have any suggestions?

-Justin

Anonymous
A Unique Resource Collecting Mechanic - Thoughts?

Hey

That sounds like it could be fun.

Maybe you could have the aliens actually use the humans as a resource (ie Borg - no I'm not even a trekkie).

I had worked on a game concept awhile back (humans vs aliens) and the humans would actually scavenge some alien technology at some points, maybe something you could use...

-Matt

Challengers
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Resource Gathering

I am a big fan of the PC game Alpha Centauri, so that bias is apparent in my suggestions:
The humans and aliens are the main adversaries, however the planet itself must have some "say" in how its resources are consumed. If the humans are expanding rapidly, they can't be gathering too efficiently (call it "strip mining"). By the same token, if the aliens destroy human resources faster than the humans create them, the aliens will starve themselves out (call it the "ebola factor"). The planet, without any bias toward either race, could react violently to either extreme.
The result is that each race is in a two vs. one battle.

Mitch

DSfan
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Joined: 12/31/1969
A Unique Resource Collecting Mechanic - Thoughts?

challengers wrote:
By the same token, if the aliens destroy human resources faster than the humans create them, the aliens will starve themselves out (call it the "ebola factor").

So the humans create resources. How do they do that? And why would the Aliens have a consquence, do they eat the resources?

Quote:
If the humans are expanding rapidly, they can't be gathering too efficiently (call it "strip mining").

So if the humans keep building, they won't be getting resources. What would be a consquence for that? Don't you want to expand?

The planet being a natural enemy to both races. So it kind-of keeps the fighting to a medium, I guess. I actually like that idea. I have been searching for a way to keep the fighting to a medium, and this would help it.

Could you maybe tell me some consquences in the game?

-Justin

Challengers
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Joined: 12/31/1969
A Unique Resource Collecting Mechanic - Thoughts?

challengers wrote:
By the same token, if the aliens destroy human resources faster than the humans create them, the aliens will starve themselves out (call it the "ebola factor").

DSfan wrote:

So the humans create resources. How do they do that? And why would the Aliens have a consquence, do they eat the resources?

Well, that's what I got from your first post :
DSfan (originally) wrote:
The Humans gain resources by expanding there territory. This could be met in 2 different ways. Either having more troops than the other player in a section (gaining VP's quickly) or building temples (can only get VP's at the end, but gets you more).

The Aliens gain resources by destorying opposing units/and or buildings.

I assumed you meant that, when humans created buildings, those were considered resources for the aliens. As for the consequences to the aliens, imagine a snake eating a pig. Afterwards, the snake is satiated, but is vulnerable to attack until the meal has completely digested. Maybe the aliens lose some defensive powers after rampaging through the human settlements.

challengers wrote:
If the humans are expanding rapidly, they can't be gathering too efficiently (call it "strip mining").

DSfan wrote:

So if the humans keep building, they won't be getting resources. What would be a consquence for that? Don't you want to expand?

Unless your force is large enough to do both, you're either fighting (to expand) or harvesting (to build). So you have a self-limiting consequence of "guns-or-butter". Of course, without counter-balancing these two, players will be content to do one or the other. So assuming you have a large enough force to do both, why should you? The answer could be simple or complex depending on what outcomes you wish to reward and what outcomes you wish to punish.
Using Alpha Centauri as an example, when your non-military segment grows too large (over-harvesting), overall operations become less efficient, workers tend to riot and resources go to waste. On the other hand, if your military segment grows too large (over-expansion), the supply-lines become the bottle-neck, the outposts are more prone to harassment and morale tends to suffer. To make matters worse (in Alpha Centauri, anyway), the citizens don't like it when you send a large military force away from the cities (unless you are a Police State, in which case they don't dare protest!)

DSfan wrote:

The planet being a natural enemy to both races. So it kind-of keeps the fighting to a medium, I guess. I actually like that idea. I have been searching for a way to keep the fighting to a medium, and this would help it.

Could you maybe tell me some consquences in the game?

-Justin
Let's generalize:
Humans vs Aliens. Why is there a conflict? If one race invaded the planet of the other, you have your answer. Or maybe the aliens are the result of some horrible genetic experiment run amok. Whatever the reasons, they hate each other and reconciliation is not an option. Therefore ...
Goals: Do they have to wipe each other out? Is domination (militarily) acceptable?
Objectives: How will the goals be met? Build a massive army and a massive infrastructure to support them? Rely on guerilla warfare? Stealth?
A combination of the three?
Limitations: All too often, the limitation is the player's ability to gather resources. That is realistic, so we deal with it.

Now that we have all the generalizations in place, we can look at consequences:
Players must seek to minimize the effects that limitations have on their ability to initiate their objectives. Unless the game starts out with enough resources, players will spend the opening phase building.
In your game, this presents an awesome opportunity: since the aliens profit from destroying anything the humans put up, they have a huge incentive to "park" near the human settlements and keep them from ever advancing. Therefore, the aliens need to have a reason not to do that. One idea is to use the planet to force the aliens to adopt a nomadic lifestyle. (I have no idea how you would accomplish that.)
Eventually, the humans will become stronger. (The mathematic of resources * production = more resource gatherers ensures this).
As mentioned earlier, strict resource gathering is a self-limiting activity, unless your game uses renewable resources. (If you do use renwables, the rate of renewal should be much lower than the rate of consumption.) The consequence, therefore, is that the player will reach a maximum population with a maximum number of buildings. When that happens, the humans had better hope the balance favors the military!
Citizens will be basically useless after that point, putting up only token resistance to marauding aliens.
Use of guerilla tactics: the consequences could be a high cost/benefit ratio.
Use of stealth tactics: the consequences could be that you can only use a fixed number of them for the whole game.

Alien consequences could mirror the humans', but with different balances.
For example, aliens need a place to sleep, but building is a high cost/low benefit activity (especially if you could work out the nomad idea). Guerilla tactics would be a low cost/high benefit acitivity. (Imagine hordes of aliens attacking in wave after wave.)

Well, that was fun. Let me know what you think.

Mitch

DSfan
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Joined: 12/31/1969
A Unique Resource Collecting Mechanic - Thoughts?

Challengers wrote:
I assumed you meant that, when humans created buildings, those were considered resources for the aliens.

Ah Yes, I forgot my own writing.

Quote:
The answer could be simple or complex depending on what outcomes you wish to reward and what outcomes you wish to punish.

I would like the outcomes/rewards to be very simple. As simple'ness was the main intent when this game started.

Quote:
One idea is to use the planet to force the aliens to adopt a nomadic lifestyle. I have no idea how you would accomplish that.

Nice idea. But I too have no idea on how to make that work. Anybody else have a suggestion?

Quote:
Now that we have all the generalizations in place, we can look at consequences:
Players must seek to minimize the effects that limitations have on their ability to initiate their objectives. Unless the game starts out with enough resources, players will spend the opening phase building.
In your game, this presents an awesome opportunity: since the aliens profit from destroying anything the humans put up, they have a huge incentive to "park" near the human settlements and keep them from ever advancing. Therefore, the aliens need to have a reason not to do that. One idea is to use the planet to force the aliens to adopt a nomadic lifestyle. (I have no idea how you would accomplish that.)
Eventually, the humans will become stronger. (The mathematic of resources * production = more resource gatherers ensures this).
As mentioned earlier, strict resource gathering is a self-limiting activity, unless your game uses renewable resources. (If you do use renwables, the rate of renewal should be much lower than the rate of consumption.) The consequence, therefore, is that the player will reach a maximum population with a maximum number of buildings. When that happens, the humans had better hope the balance favors the military!
Citizens will be basically useless after that point, putting up only token resistance to marauding aliens.
Use of guerilla tactics: the consequences could be a high cost/benefit ratio.
Use of stealth tactics: the consequences could be that you can only use a fixed number of them for the whole game.

Alien consequences could mirror the humans', but with different balances.
For example, aliens need a place to sleep, but building is a high cost/low benefit activity (especially if you could work out the nomad idea). Guerilla tactics would be a low cost/high benefit acitivity. (Imagine hordes of aliens attacking in wave after wave.)

Nice Idea's Challengers. I'll have to see what I can work into the game, while still keeping it simple.

Thanks,
-Justin

Jebbou
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Joined: 07/29/2008
A Unique Resource Collecting Mechanic - Thoughts?

DSFan,

I like the idea of having two opposing factions which have different strategical options. This is a personal preference, as I like games where I can creatively explore different options. I have a couple of questions about your ideas though, that you will find below:

1) For humans, there are two ways of collecting Victory Points
a) Territory control (Score points as the game advance)
b) Build temples (Score at the end of the game)

2) For aliens, there are two ways of collecting Resources
a) Destroy enemy units
b) Destroy enemy buildings

3) My questions are:
a) Are Victory Points and resources the same thing?
b) If not, how do humans collect resources?
c) If not, how do aliens score Victory Points?
d) If Victory Points and resources are the same thing, how units are purchased?
e) How does the game ends?

I will surely comment other posts later on as well, as I do enjoy Alpha Centauri.

Regards,

Jeb

DSfan
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Joined: 12/31/1969
A Unique Resource Collecting Mechanic - Thoughts?

Thanks for responding Jebbou

Jebbou wrote:
Are Victory Points and resources the same thing?

No. Victory points are points that are gained so that you can win the game. Resources are collected, and used to buy units/buildings.

Quote:
If not, how do humans collect resources?

Humans collect resources with a harvester. Humans also score victory points by building Temples, controlling a section, (7 Piece Hex) or killing units.

Quote:
If not, how do aliens score Victory Points?

This is one thing I am stuck on. Some ways would be for aliens to control a section, (like humans) and build Temples. Maybe Victory points for those would be a bit larger for aliens.

Quote:
How does the game ends?

After 3 scoring rounds, the final scoring round takes place. Players add up there victory points, and whoever has the most wins the game.

If you would like to see the game for what it is now (Without Aliens and Humans competing) go here:

http://www.bgdf.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=2243

Feel free to comment on the game if you wish.

-Justin

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