General Gameplay Guidelines
This document tries to lay out some basic design principles for Globulation 2. Good gameplay is more of an art than a science, so these guidelines aren't intended as a statement of overarching goals, a formula for what we believe makes a great game, or even a rigid framework for the game to be measured against. They're just an attempt by the developers to get to know what makes Globulation 2 the game it is.
Some Core Principles
This is Glob2's main selling point, and something that marks it out in many ways. Globulation 2 is a real-time *strategy* game, and it's important that the player feels he's controlling the broad strategy of his civilisation rather than specific tactics of each individual unit.
There's more than one path to victory
Globulation 2 should be a game where every move has a thousand counters, and every counter a thousand weaknesses, rather than a game where you build up a great army and smash your unsuspecting enemy in one strike. Combat shouldn't be the only way to win, and even when it is, there should be many ways of fighting a war.
The more information, the better
Although, like any game, the rules of Globulation 2 need to be simple enough to pick up quickly, the average Glob2 player can be assumed to know his way around a bar chart. We shouldn't be afraid to present the user with useful statistics about the game just in case they might not understand.
Once you've picked up the basics of Globulation 2, it should be a game you can return to again and again, perhaps months apart, when you have a little time to spare. Globulation 2 needn't be so addictive as to take over a player's life, just enough that he develops a soft spot for it in time.
Outline of a game
As a general rule, a game of Globulation 2 should involve an exploration phase, a building phase, and a competition phase. These phases can overlap with each other, but each phase requires different skills, and should be fun in its own way.
The initial exploration phase involves finding out what your surroundings look like, where you can find resources, how to guard the borders of your territory, and where to start placing your buildings.
The building phase involves creating a large and successful town. Depending on the situation, this might be large or small. There will be geographical obstacles to overcome (such as your town becoming overgrown or running out of resources). The town will grow in different ways and at different speeds depending on the way it's managed.
The final competition phase involves defeating your opponents. This can be through direct means, such as stealing resources or fighting; or it can be indirectly through converting or prestige.
A game of Globulation 2 should last long enough that the player has a chance to enjoy and strategise over each phase, but carry on at a pace that keeps the player on his toes. An hour or two is a good length for a game.