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Randomized Missions

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Randomized Missions

Postby jim » Tue Jul 07, 2015 8:59 pm

I've thought about some game idea, possibly for Blaze, or whatever project the new stuff I've been working on is for.

The background story would be what it used to be: Player is on some other planet in some base that has been overrun by the alien/mutant/zombie/robot/terrorist/whatever enemies. Player's main mission is to capture the base back.

== Start Level ==
    * The start level functions as a safe zone for player, return back to it after missions
    * Mission selector: has multiple missions, mission types/goals randomized when entering the level
    * Has a shop for player to buy/sell health, energy, ammo, weapons, extra lives, powerups
    * And a place to equip the equipment on player (can't carry everything at the same time)
    * Mission selector, shop and equipment interfaces can be just simple text lists
    * Shop and equipment interfaces can appear in mission levels in coop and DM (only when just re/spawn or if player used the "map" console command)
    * Saving only allowed in the Start level (is it possible to disable saving in other levels?)

== Randomized Missions ==
    * Level chosen for the mission is randomized
    * Spawn points for enemies/characters: same level don't play the same twice
    * Multiple entry/exit zones for player: start/end the mission from one of these (don't end mission immediately on touching the exit zone, require confirmation)
    * Maybe some func_walls that are set on/off randomly (inaccessible areas shouldn't contain any mission goals)
    * Attack Mission: try to capture the area from enemies
    * Defence Mission: enemies try to capture the area from player (ignoring it in the mission selector would result in losing the area)
    * Mission Goals: kill all enemies, free hostages, get item, turn devices/bombs on/off (some goals need to be completed within a time limit)
    * The mission levels should also work as DM levels

== Completing Mission ==
    * Get more money and inventory to the shop (better stuff from harder missions)
    * Capture or keep the area
    * Exiting/dying before mission goals are complete: Mission Failure (mission can continue if player has extra lives)
    * Lots of civilian/hostage casualties could result in Mission Failure or losing a lot of money (more money loss if it's player killing them)

== Game End ==
    * Capturing all the areas in the game would result in player victory
    * The last area can be a final mission with boss enemies
    * If player has 0 health, 0 lives and can't buy more, player loses and the game ends in enemy victory
    * Player's money can go negative, if it's too negative, the enemies win
    * If player loses all areas, the game ends in enemy victory (failed/ignored too many defence missions)

This idea could be sort of simple to do even for just one person, and have lots of replay value. The mission levels don't need to be very big, and even just a few of them might feel more than a few. There could be some episodes/themes for the missions. The random selection system should be sort automated, it would find how many maps are in the episode in the maps folder, then select one of them. Would be easy to add new levels without changing anything in the code, or needing to replace previous levels.

Player would have multiple ammo types for each weapon to have more stuff to buy from the shop without needing to model lots of weapons (that would probably be very similar in function). If all the things are bought from the shop, it would be unnecessary to model item pickups. There could be some couple openable boxes that could contain any basic item. Mission goal items should have some models too.
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Re: Randomized Missions

Postby frag.machine » Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:36 am

This sounds a lot like what I was planning to Realms of Quake (RoQ), a single player/coop mod I worked on /off for a long time until I gave up for good.
I know FrikaC made a cgi-bin version of the quakec interpreter once and wrote part of his website in QuakeC :) (LordHavoc)
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Re: Randomized Missions

Postby Dr. Shadowborg » Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:29 am

Sounds a lot like what I've been planning for Smash, except that there would still be weapon / health / ammo pickups (surplus items you didn't need would get picked up and count towards money instead), less randomization, taking areas (usually involving a boss / miniboss fight) would actually unlock weapons / reduce weapon / ammo / supply costs (maybe even track limited war supplies), more advanced defenses / troops, etc. and impair the enemy war efforts (sometimes resulting in loss of unit / weapon types). Each area would have some kind of storage lockers / vending machines with goodies that could be accessed too.

Defense missions wouldn't always require your attention either, allowing your defense units the occasional victory. (enemy force strength vs. player allied force strength)

I was also thinking about doing Bionic Commando-style "meet the enemy on route" / "get intercepted by enemy defense forces" type missions where you'd control a gun turret on a APC or something, then deploy to destroy the enemy APC /whatever.

Just proves that Star Raiders-esque ingame strategic gameplay ideas haven't died just yet... :D
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Re: Randomized Missions

Postby jim » Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:07 pm

I thought that player could also buy some automated turrets and other defence stuff. They could automatically handle some defence missions without player needing to go to the mission. The turrets/etc could also appear in the missions. The extra lives could be more soldiers for player that could be taken to a mission. They would have some kind AI, try to follow player and shoot the enemies. Maybe player could also switch control. Then every soldier should have own inventory, and the inventory size would probably be smaller than if it's just one soldier per mission. But these things are something for later. Now I want to get a prototype done with the Start level and couple mission levels.

There could be some shops in the mission levels. These could have a different inventory than the shop in the Start level. They could even have items that are not yet available in the Start level. If player buys something from these mission level shops, the items would go straight to the soldier's inventory, which would also mean that player could only buy a limited amount. Selling stuff in the mission shops would also only allow selling the stuff on the soldier. Ammo would also take space from the inventory. The base inventory in the Start level can have unlimited space.

Player would also have some unlimited ammo weapon, a pistol, that takes no space, can't be dropped or sold. Player could buy an extra pistol, which would take space, can be dropped and sold. Maybe there's also like max weapon slots. Player couldn't take every weapon into a mission, even if they would fit into the inventory space. The extra pistol would probably use one weapon slot too, otherwise it would probably be so small size that player could take it on every mission. Maybe some large weapons would use more than one slot. At least the rocket launcher I made looks pretty big.
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Re: Randomized Missions

Postby Dr. Shadowborg » Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:18 pm

Interesting ideas jim, further ideas / idea simplifications regarding strategic stuffs that I thought of: (warning, wall of text)

- Areas include:
-- Player Base: Safe zone, resupply point, medical lab, teleporter base, etc.

-- Transit areas: Generally money, supplies, etc. are hidden here in greater proportion to be found. Owning a transit area makes it easier to go to another area? Maybe functions as a "nest" for producing / building enemy units?

-- Factory: A production point for supply points and turrets / robots.

-- Power Plant: Makes production of weapons / armor / ammo cheaper? Required to operate a Factory? Maybe powers lighting / equipment / elevators in transit areas?

-- Enemy Base: The heart of evil. Destruction of Final Boss results in game victory.

- Player has four units available for fighting the war:
-- Player: You, the commander and primary attacker. If killed, game over.

-- Soldiers: (with different classes, like engineers, Soldier, etc. that provide bonuses when they are used as commanders) Soldiers can be brought along as a partner (only one though), or assigned as defense commanders in captured areas. Soldier types include:

--- Demolitionist
Carries heavy weapons, higher hitpoints than the other two classes. Carries bigger demolition bombs as a partner. Bonus to hitpoints for Turrets and Combat Robots when used as a commander. Does nothing when placed on a powered factory.

--- Engineer
Can repair player armor as a partner, carries only lighter weapons. As a commander, turrets and combat robots assigned to him are restored for a small fraction of the production cost of said units, with no time delays.
When put in defense of a factory area that is powered, produces supply points for the player supply pool.

--- Medic
Can heal a player as a partner, carries only lighter weapons. As a commander, when put in defense of a factory area that is powered, produces 1/2 supply points for the player supply pool. Is only unit that can utilize the intelligence gathering capablities of a captured communication tower when stationed there.

--- Soldiers must be rescued from hidden cloning facilities in enemy areas before they can be used. When defeated as a partner are teleported back to base for medical treatment. If defeated in defense command when the player isn't present, they are captured and taken to a hidden enemy cloning facility. Maybe add an "Abductor" enemy type that can capture your soldiers even when you are present?

--- Captured soldiers will be cloned over time, creating hybrid / mutant / cyborg / alien commanders that give enemy units in the same area squad AI capabilities, making them more dangerous. (minibosses?)

--- Only a limited number of soldiers in a campaign, no more than eight or so, which makes rescuing and utilizing them well an important factor, that the enemy will also be trying to exploit.

-- Turrets: Only useful for defense, cannot move, but very powerful. Must be produced at a factory. (which takes time)
-- Combat Robots: Doom3-ish spiderbots that are more mobile, but have less firepower than turrets. More expensive to produce than turrets, but can be taken along instead of a soldier as a partner. Must be produced at a factory. (also takes time)

- Buying weapons / health / ammo / armor from base requires supply points. Can only buy these at player base, or selected transporter / teleporter vending machines.

- Three supply point pools, one for the player, one for the enemy, and one neutral that is distributed like health for each area, each area's supply point pool generates randomized items, with higher value items usually being locked inside of arms lockers.

- Accessing arms lockers requires money which can only be found during missions / wandering around secured areas / taken from killed enemies.

- Supply point pools can be increased by capturing "factory" areas, then placing an engineer in defense of them, or picking up surplus ammo / health / weapons / armor that is lying around an area.

- Strategic level events happen in real-time, with the player being given a portable map computer that he can issue orders to / place defense units from.

jim wrote:Player would also have some unlimited ammo weapon, a pistol, that takes no space, can't be dropped or sold. Player could buy an extra pistol, which would take space, can be dropped and sold. Maybe there's also like max weapon slots. Player couldn't take every weapon into a mission, even if they would fit into the inventory space. The extra pistol would probably use one weapon slot too, otherwise it would probably be so small size that player could take it on every mission. Maybe some large weapons would use more than one slot. At least the rocket launcher I made looks pretty big.


Hmm, second pistol is like an upgrade for the regular pistol. Dunno about inventory system, wasn't too fond of SoF's "can only carry a limited number of weapons" limitation...It's probably okay to allow the player to carry as many weapons as he wants, along with an appropriate amount of ammo since he's going to be the primary attacker. Complex inventory systems are something that easily gobbles up your coding / dev time, and can drive you nuts working on...
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Re: Randomized Missions

Postby frag.machine » Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:25 pm

jim wrote:Player would also have some unlimited ammo weapon, a pistol, that takes no space, can't be dropped or sold. Player could buy an extra pistol, which would take space, can be dropped and sold. Maybe there's also like max weapon slots. Player couldn't take every weapon into a mission, even if they would fit into the inventory space. The extra pistol would probably use one weapon slot too, otherwise it would probably be so small size that player could take it on every mission. Maybe some large weapons would use more than one slot. At least the rocket launcher I made looks pretty big.


In RoQ, a player would start with a base weapon (shotgun or pistol) plus a small ammount of ammo. Everything else ought to be accquired in the base shops. I was planning to drop entirely ammo/health pickup during missions (or at least make it very rare). Instead, maps would have some random secret areas containing gold, money or valuable items, so regardless the main objective for every mission, finding secret stashes would be a motivation to always explore all areas.

I reckon this way most people would have a hard time to complete the first missions, so right in the base map you'd have some non-usual alternatives to get money:
a) you could fight for money in a PvE pit arena (enemy would be adjusted automatically so an absolute beginner with an axe and no armor would fight against, say, a couple dogs or a melee only ogre);
b) you could *bet* in arena fights between players and/or monsters (safer, but less rewarding prizes);
c) you could *steal* money and/or goodies from random drunken soldiers sleeping in the street (although you could be caught by other NPC's and end up in jail, LOL).

EDIT: fixed some incomplete sentences. :P
I know FrikaC made a cgi-bin version of the quakec interpreter once and wrote part of his website in QuakeC :) (LordHavoc)
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Re: Randomized Missions

Postby jim » Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:41 pm

Yea, I guess inventory stuff can get complicated, which why I wouldn't want more than the (Shop,) Base and Player inventories. Also I think the player's inventory should be something like in Deus Ex. Pistol(s) always in slot 1, and other weapons/weapon like things can be assigned freely. Player could have some 3-5 other weapons. I think the equip interface can be just text on a graphic background. Press the slot number key, select a weapon from a list, and it's assigned to the slot, or select drop weapon to drop it/place it back to the Base inventory (if in the Base). Every slot would have some weapon number/flag assigned in the code, so the game knows which weapon is in it.

Player could probably also make a melee kick with run and/or jump keys if close to an enemy.

I've thought to have a day/night cycle (don't know if I'll actually do it), which could make outdoor levels appear different. Some lamps on at night, bright skylight at day. But this would require them to be realtime dynamic light entities or making some 4 versions of each level. The time would probably only change between missions. The sky wouldn't change smooth anyway. But then some people might always abort night missions for them being too dark or something.

Maybe then every mission would be both attack/defence type. If player aborts/fails the mission, player lose an area. If player completes the mission, player captures an area. Player should immediately start the game with some areas, otherwise player would lose the game right away if player failed the first mission.

Player probably gets a little bit of money for every killed enemy, so player could get some money even if the mission failed. Maybe some of the openable boxes can contain money too.


I always played SoF with the custom difficulty. Sometimes I played with unlimited inventory, sometimes limited. Sometimes dumb enemies, sometimes ridiculous amounts of very angry enemies.
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