Mechanic Request: Linked enemy units

Started by HappyHead, October 09, 2020, 10:29:06 PM

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    New Mechanic: Linked Enemy Units
    Purpose: To add an optional mechanic which, if used in a map, decreases a standard game's power snowball/avalanche for the player and increases map difficulty

    • Implementation 1: Specific Links to add interesting strategic puzzles to maps.

    Enemy units of any type can be linked on a map. Whenever one linked unit is nullified, all other units linked to it are enhanced while non-linked units are unaffected. So, if a spore launcher is linked to an emitter, nullifying the spore launcher will double the output of the emitter and nullifying the emitter will double the spore production rate. If three units are linked, nullifying one causes the other two to increase production rates at 1.5x, etc. Nullifying multiple linked units causes the nullifiers energy upkeep cost to increase somewhat. The specifics of linked unit power increases can be set in the map editor along with linked nullifier energy upkeep increases. Whether the player knows about these links or not is also toggleable

    • Implementation 2: Evolving Enemy Units to allow the creep to feel more "alive" by "responding" to player activities

    Linking is now a toggle-able map setting instead of a specific trait for individual units. All enemy units can be set as linked or not in the map editor. If the enemy units are set to "linked", nullifying one will cause all others to either become enhanced or to gain a new ability. So If a map has five emitters and two spore launchers, nullifying any one will cause all others to increase their output slightly, nullifying any two will cause the rest to begin producing eggs, etc etc all the way up to nullifying all but one emitter maybe allowing the emitter to produce red creeper or nullifying all but one spore launcher allows spores to carpet bomb with eggs or somthing. Nullified enemy units don't evolve. Nullifying evolved enemies demands a greater power upkeep cost on nullifiers. The limits of and thresholds for evolution on units can be set in the map editor if the feature is toggled on.

    • Implementation 3: A New Enemy Unit to make strategic puzzles centered around a specific big bad enemy unit.

    A new enemy unit, henceforth referred to as "B", is added to the game. Bs can be linked to any enemy unit on the map including other B units. A B unit is capable of doing everything the other enemy units can do, but usually does nothing but emit creeper at the start of the game. Whenever a linked enemy unit is nullified, the B unit its attached to gains that unit's ability. So if a B is linked to an emitter and two spore launchers, nullifying an emitter will add that emitter's output to the B, nullifying one spore launcher will allow the B unit to launch spores, and nullifying two spore launchers will allow the B unit to launch spores at double the rate, etc. If one emitter is linked to two B units, nullifying the emitter will cause both B units to gain the emitter's output level, but nullifying a B first does not enhance the emitter and only gives the other B the nullified B's default abilities. Order of nullification matters. The energy upkeep of nullifying a B increases slowly over time. B's initial settings and power increase values can be modified in the map editor along with B nullifier energy upkeep increases.

    • Implementation 4: All/Any of the Above for the ultimate list of features for the creation of very challenging/unwinnable maps.

    Units can be linked together, Bs can be on the map, and unit evolution now just happens naturally over time but gets a boost in response to nullification. Bs and other linked units are only enhanced in proportion to the nullified enemy's "power". In other words, nullified enemies don't evolve and linked units only gain a unit's "power" from the time that unit was nullified. For balance, Bs don't evolve on their own, they just gain the stats from linked nullified units that have evolved and nullifier power upkeep follows the suggested evolution based rules.


    This is already possible with 4RPL. I even did something similarin CW3 using CRPL.


    Quote from: J on October 10, 2020, 07:35:50 PM
    This is already possible with 4RPL. I even did something similarin CW3 using CRPL.

    This is a bit of a game philosophy q, but wouldn't it be better for more mechanics to be default instead of only employable through 4RPL? While veteran and more "hardcore" map makers will use 4RPL, the majority of users will only make use of default/"vanilla" map maker features simply because 4RPL has a learning curve not provided through gameplay.

    If more features being available by default can be seen as a generally good thing, then the question becomes what makes these specific features worth consideration?
    I'd like to argue that at least one of these mechanics offers a strategic element that could generate enough "mileage" to pay off time spent implementing it formally.


    If I understand correctly, at this stage of development, the main features that are likely to be changed are QoL. The story missions are being built, and the main gameplay mechanics are complete.

    "It's possible in RPL" is sometimes a polite shorthand for "knucracker has enough on his plate, and if he added even 10% of ideas to the game then it would a) never be finished and b) be bloated, complicated, and no fun even if it was".

    With that said, if knu likes the look of this, it might make it into a future game, or a "scripting example pack" in CW4.
    A narrative is a lightly-marked path to another reality.


    I probably should have elaborated a bit more. 4RPL is definitely not my favorite way to have something implemented and I highly prefer crafting maps without any scripting. On the other hand, the linking feature you suggested is relatively easy to code and possibly not used enough to warrant a core mechanic (which could become quite complicated with all the possible variations of it).


    mm, that's fair. Though it does raise an interesting qol question.
    Has there been any word on an easy way to share RPL scripts/setups? A searchable library with ratings seperate from maps, either independantly set up like with Factorio or some other way?
    If there could be a way for map makers to play script kiddy just by easily finding and copy/pasting things, the map making community would expand quite a bit.