Project Atlas (Artillery Games) Update Discussion

  (Edited: )

The team at Artillery (the Developers Sean's with) have released an update to there current progress on the game so far which you can find below.

http://blog.artillery.com/2014/06/project-atlas-update.html

Here you can talk about your thoughts and perhaps offer any useful insight.

There's a couple of things that interest me.
1. Gathering Resources
They mention gathering resources in typical RTS games like StarCraft, Command & Conquer and Age Of Empires where players build worker units to collect was leading to less interaction between the players and as such have look to other methods. I like this choice it puts more emphasis on what your units can do rather than how many you have, and goes back to the video Day[9] made about Baseballs vs Frisbees, where he puts emphasis on a bigger ratio of depth to complexity (i.e small complexity with large depth). They mention a method of catching node points which although isn't new (can be seen in games such as Dawn of War, Company of Heroes and Stormrise) allows you to do interesting things depending on how its implemented, for example using faster units to skirt hes army to cap points and cut his supply. The only reservation I have as it can be a slippery slope similar to some MOBA games where you kind of know who the winner is long before he wins.

2. Respawn Mechanic

So they want to keep players in the game for longer. A problem found in some RTS is that if you make a mistake and lose your entire army you can pretty turn into an instant loss situation. There solution described "When you lose an army, the money you spent building the army goes back into your bank after a while." I'm not sure if this is the best solution to have because its fine if you want to keep people in the game, but for a competitive game If the other player is better he should be able to win. Tom Cadwell at Riot Games, described something called "Counter Play" which says when you are designing a mechanic for a player to use, while it should be fun for a player to use, it should also be fun for a player to fight against. If a player kills his opponents army and then marches in to find his efforts didn't affect hes opponent that much it may feel somewhat underwhelming to him.
Now you might say that its totally fair because both players are allowed this mechanic, so it doesn't matter if its fun for him now it will be later. To that point I'll point at to Dark Souls. Why do so many people keep going in Dark Souls even when it seems incredible unfair at times. Its because even though you lost, that lost was on you, you missed timed a block, a roll or a stab. All the enemies in Dark Souls use the same stamina system you have. They have to play by the same rules too. There is a group called "The OneBros" who play the entire game without leveling. This is an example of a good mechanics, where the system is known how to be utilised and how to be beaten, and learning both is fun and engaging.

3. Video Framerate

Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You.  It's been a real pet peeve of me lately to see games getting locked at 30fps. Ticking me off even more is seeing how the majority of people are okay for it to happen so I am so glad that Artillery are putting in a lot of effort to have this game run as efficiently as possible. Something I know would be difficult since your platform is a browser.

4. Game Art and Narrative

When deciding on art, Games can be divided into two categories, Stylisation or Photo-realism. I love Photo realism it just looks awesome, many genres lend well to it like Simulation Sports and many modern military shooters. The problem is its just so hard to get right, we know instantly if something doesn't look quite like its suppose to and it breaks the immersion instantly. I mean we know what humans look like we see them everyday. So Stylisation can be an incredible good alternative especially since it allows you to just go nuts like a Saturday cartoon show.Something that has been unusual with multiplayer games is you can't really tell a story in them and there isn't any reason you can't. As much as I love it, I've never really understood Counter-Strikes "story". Them terrorist be like "War against a large block of concrete" CT's for some reason have to stop them from doing that. This is something I don't have any kind of solution for.

So they are some of my thoughts, if you guys have any of your own or want to disagree, shout out below.