Free and Open Source real time strategy game with a new take on micro-management

Earth and paved

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Earth

This is actually a combination of the two ideas above. Consider making grass behave like a resource:

  • It grows/regrows faster in fertile areas (but it CAN grow on dry land)
  • It has a "level", ranging from bare earth (level 0) to normal grass (level 2 or 3)
  • Frequently walking over a grass tile will reduce its level, unless if it's next to a resource (except stone).
  • Leave it alone and it grows back

So, even if you do nothing, earth paths will form between your buildings. This also happens in The Settlers (III and IV) and is pretty fun to watch. But it's not only visual: Resources can only grow on normal grass tiles. That means that your resources will not expand as fast towards your base as they will sideways. And all of this without human interaction.

But you can use it in your advantage, too: if you specify an area to be "cleared", your workers will not only remove resources, they will also remove grass and make the ground earth. Buildings can only be placed on earth.

So, the construction of a building happens in 4 steps:

  1. Clear all resources (if necessary)
  2. Clear the grass (if necessary)
  3. Send away all units (if necessary)
  4. Build

Paved areas

And, if an area has been marked to be cleared for a while already or has already been walked a lot, workers will start bringing stone and making the road paved. This costs about 1 stone per 4/5/6 squares. Like the grass, the paved road also has 'levels' (1: stones in dirt, 2: paved Roman style, 3: highway-ish). Upgrading also costs 1 stone per 4/5/6 squares and requires the school of the corresponding level -1, so the roads are in the same style as the surrounding buildings.

But you may be wondering what the big advantage is of building paved grounds. Speed of course! But only a little speed advantage. This is what I had in mind (s = current unit speed):

  1. (High grass: s*0.9)
  2. Normal terrain: s*1.0
  3. Paved lvl 1: s*1.1
  4. Paved lvl 2: s*1.2
  5. Paved lvl 3: s*1.3

Buildings can be placed on both earth and paved ground of any level. You can't destroy a paved road, instead it just decays back to grass if you leave it alone for some time.

Pro's

  • No micromanagement needed!
  • Looks wonderful

Con's

  • Requires a lot of extra tiles (unless we reshape the terrain engine to use alpha maps)
  • No control over when/how much workers pave roads. This can be solved in 2 ways:
    1. Making it an extra setting in your swarm. This makes it a base-independent setting
    2. Make roads appear like earth, without requiring workers or stone.

Comments

The roads/paved areas part still requires some thought and polishing, but I think that the grass/earth part is really a must. In my eyes it has only benefits. Migi 19:06, 7 October 2008 (CEST)