Non-Linear Campaign

iOS, X360, PS3, PC and Android. Historical role playing strategy game set during the hundred years war.

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honvedseg
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Non-Linear Campaign

Post by honvedseg » Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:35 pm

I see that the announcement lists a "non-linear" campaign as one of the features. Will this be a more free-form approach as in a "campaign map", or will it be a couple of choices between two or three "tracks"?

I remember the old "Wing Commander" game having a "high" and a "low" track, depending on the outcomes of various missions or by player decisions, with a number of "crossover" points where you could "regain" the high track with a good enough performance in the latest set of "low track" missions. It wasn't truly non-linear, more like "multi-linear" or "parallel" missions, but gave the game a lot more replayability than a purely linear plotline.

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Post by pipfromslitherine » Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:49 pm

We are designing the game with a pretty freeform high level structure, one which should ensure a lot of replayability.

Cheers

Pip

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Post by Redpossum » Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:03 pm

pipfromslitherine wrote:We are designing the game with a pretty freeform high level structure, one which should ensure a lot of replayability.

Cheers

Pip
Excellent! That's very good news.

Even the limited degree of non-linearity (is that a word?) in Dark Omen was still enough to keep it fresh longer.

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Post by kongming » Wed May 09, 2007 1:15 am

This should add a great deal to the "role-playing" aspect of the game. That was one aspect of Legions Arena that did not live up to its billing. The role-playing aspects in terms of a coherent storyline and building of a "character" in the form of the legate or chief were very minimal.

I'll look forward to seeing how the non-linear play works in practice.

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Post by Redpossum » Wed May 09, 2007 5:43 pm

kongming, to be fair to Slitherine, I don't think they were so much billing LA as an RPG game.

I think they were saying the way the units accumulate exp, level up, and then allow you to choose your path to advancement, was equivalent to the way a character in an RPG game does the same things. And on that level, their claim is absolutely correct :)

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Post by kongming » Fri May 11, 2007 12:31 am

From the Slitherine website description of Legions Arena:
'Legion Arena' is a game about role playing strategy on an epic scale and provides more than just a taste of battle! Set during the period of the Roman Republic, Legion Arena lets you take command of a band of simple peasant warriors and train them into an elite fighting force. With each victory, you can reap the rewards - fame, money and experience, along with the opportunity to ‘level up' your units. Troops will learn hundreds of new skills through their battle experience, and will improve with each new challenge they face. You can play as the Roman Empire or the Celtic Clans through over a hundred scenarios and must use realitic strategies to crush your enemies!
"Role-playing strategy" could be taken many ways I suppose, (and certainly the rest of the paragraph supports your statements Possum), but it led me to believe, prior to purchase, that the game would have role-playing aspects, a coherent storyline or some sort of role-playing aspect in which the player "role-played" the leader, combined with real-time strategy aspects. To me 'leveling up units' by itself isn't sufficiently different from other strategy games to warrant the "role-playing" moniker. But I could just be daft.

As good a game as Legion Arena, for me, it would be infinitely more interesting if there was a more coherent storyline, such following our young hero as he rises through the ranks of Caesar's legions on his Gallic campaigns, for example.

Cult of Mithras has a more developed storyline that creates the illusion of playing the role. And I'm all for more of that in Arcane Legions.

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Post by Redpossum » Fri May 11, 2007 4:22 am

kongming wrote: As good a game as Legion Arena, for me, it would be infinitely more interesting if there was a more coherent storyline, such following our young hero as he rises through the ranks of Caesar's legions on his Gallic campaigns, for example.
<shameless>
Well, in that case, have you checked out my Britannicus mod?
</shameless>

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Post by kongming » Fri May 11, 2007 5:07 pm

Actually, my wife is away this weekend, so I may finally have a chance to play around with adding Britannicus to my MAC. I'm really looking forward to it! Thanks again for your work on the mod and wish me luck installing it on my MAC.

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Post by Redpossum » Fri May 11, 2007 10:56 pm

Cool, good luck.

You should probably review the thread here thoroughly. It's obvious you've read at least part of it from your comments, but I was looking through it again myself, and there's some very good info in there, (he said, with nary a shred of modesty).

I really enjoyed making the Britannicus mod, and I'm eagerly looking forward to modding some on this new LA variant that Slitherine are doing with the History Channel people.

I pray all gods great and small the mod interface is a bit more user-friendly than the original LA one, though. Learning that was painful.

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Post by pipfromslitherine » Sun May 13, 2007 7:02 am

The Great Battles of Rome uses a very similar codebase, and so the modding is just the same. You'd probably need only minor changes to your mod for it to work with the new release.

Cheers

Pip

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Post by Redpossum » Mon May 14, 2007 12:09 am

Pip, that's great news

But tell me, will the UI be less like a rootcanal with no anesthetic?

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Post by pipfromslitherine » Mon May 14, 2007 12:40 am

It's be the same, sorry! And who uses anesthetic? I bet you can't even get a decent haircut at any dentist that does!

Cheers

Pip

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Post by kongming » Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:32 pm

For what it is worth, some ideas about non-linear campaigns. Obviously, I'd love to be doing what you guys are doing, but since I can't, I have to be satisfied with fantasizing about the games I would like to be able to design. I'm envious!

Some of these are more of storytelling techniques than game elements, but they could be used to frame the game. I've been thinking about these ideas in terms of LA and Rome, but they could be adapted to the Middle Ages.

> In a Gallic Wars context, the story could hinge upon our young hero having to make, in the climatic moment at the crossing of the Rubicon, a decision to remain loyal to his beloved commander Caesar (for whom he had fought back and forth through Gaul) and honor his oath to Rome. That decision would fork the campaign into our hero either fighting under the command of Caesar or Pompey.

> The hero should have a nemesis. Again in the Gallic Wars context, a commander among the Gauls against whom our hero fights several times, at critical moments and who has a way of getting under the skin of our hero. The end of the Gallic Wars means for our hero marching his nemesis through the streets of Rome in chains.

> Our hero should also have a rival. If the story begins with a young officer from the provinces rising through the ranks, then he should rise along side an arrogant and haughty scion of an aristocratic house who thinks our hero is a base clod of dung unworthy of shining his boots. He should shadow our hero as they rise through the ranks, sometimes outperforming our hero, sometimes being outclassed and seething with resentment at our hero's success and Caesar's favor. And of course, whatever decision our hero made, the rival would be on the opposite side of the Rubicon, and they would meet in the final battle.

> Our hero might make a decision to either marry a woman of an aristocratic Roman household or a woman from the Gallic provinces. Marrying a Roman aristocratic would put more dinari in our heroes pockets while marrying a Gaul would make recruits less expense or unlock new troop types. Or marrying to Rome could just make Roman troop types (legions) less expensive while marrying to the Gauls would make auxillaries less expensive.

> Superstition and the Gods: Our hero might face decisions about whether or not to believe omens. maybe the hero encounters a hag who relates a legend and quest that the hero can choose to believe and attempt to fulfill or not. This might lead to the possession of legendary items of magic/religious or at least PR value.

> The story could be told through a voice over of one of our hero's centurions. Remember the old centurion in the tutorial? I was sad to see him go. He would have been a good companion. Makes me think of Mako's voice over in Conan the Barbarian.

> Caesar should be present as a character giving his approval or remonstration to our hero. And alternately to his rival, cursing the nemesis.

Same sort of setup could easily be adapted to Alexander's campaigns. The hero is one of Alexanders young officers who must choose his allegiance after Alexander's death to one of the Successors.

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Post by kleinemann » Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:43 pm

kongming wrote:For what it is worth, some ideas about non-linear campaigns. Obviously, I'd love to be doing what you guys are doing, but since I can't, I have to be satisfied with fantasizing about the games I would like to be able to design. I'm envious!

Some of these are more of storytelling techniques than game elements, but they could be used to frame the game. I've been thinking about these ideas in terms of LA and Rome, but they could be adapted to the Middle Ages.

> In a Gallic Wars context, the story could hinge upon our young hero having to make, in the climatic moment at the crossing of the Rubicon, a decision to remain loyal to his beloved commander Caesar (for whom he had fought back and forth through Gaul) and honor his oath to Rome. That decision would fork the campaign into our hero either fighting under the command of Caesar or Pompey.

> The hero should have a nemesis. Again in the Gallic Wars context, a commander among the Gauls against whom our hero fights several times, at critical moments and who has a way of getting under the skin of our hero. The end of the Gallic Wars means for our hero marching his nemesis through the streets of Rome in chains.

> Our hero should also have a rival. If the story begins with a young officer from the provinces rising through the ranks, then he should rise along side an arrogant and haughty scion of an aristocratic house who thinks our hero is a base clod of dung unworthy of shining his boots. He should shadow our hero as they rise through the ranks, sometimes outperforming our hero, sometimes being outclassed and seething with resentment at our hero's success and Caesar's favor. And of course, whatever decision our hero made, the rival would be on the opposite side of the Rubicon, and they would meet in the final battle.

> Our hero might make a decision to either marry a woman of an aristocratic Roman household or a woman from the Gallic provinces. Marrying a Roman aristocratic would put more dinari in our heroes pockets while marrying a Gaul would make recruits less expense or unlock new troop types. Or marrying to Rome could just make Roman troop types (legions) less expensive while marrying to the Gauls would make auxillaries less expensive.

> Superstition and the Gods: Our hero might face decisions about whether or not to believe omens. maybe the hero encounters a hag who relates a legend and quest that the hero can choose to believe and attempt to fulfill or not. This might lead to the possession of legendary items of magic/religious or at least PR value.

> The story could be told through a voice over of one of our hero's centurions. Remember the old centurion in the tutorial? I was sad to see him go. He would have been a good companion. Makes me think of Mako's voice over in Conan the Barbarian.

> Caesar should be present as a character giving his approval or remonstration to our hero. And alternately to his rival, cursing the nemesis.

Same sort of setup could easily be adapted to Alexander's campaigns. The hero is one of Alexanders young officers who must choose his allegiance after Alexander's death to one of the Successors.
That might add a bit more role-playing into the role-playing strategy title of this genre of yours, right?

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