Making Strategic Decisions

In Goldwingus campaign mode I’ve been interested in combining the arcade component of the game with having a broader meaning to it than just advancing from level to level. So far this combinement leaves a lot to be desired.

Currently the heuristics for the different players is to just attack the planets with the weakest fleets of all of the players. This is pretty straightforward and transparent and also it means that once any one player gets an upper-hand, it will almost definetely win too. The problem with this is that players choices aren’t that meaningful. A planet is a planet is a planet.

So, I’ve wanted to add something to the game to make different planets more interesting pursuits and make the strength of the fleet in orbit less deciding factor for the player. Let’s take an example. Enemy planet A currently has strong enough fleet in orbit that doesn’t allow attacking with our fleet, but it does have is some resource that the player needs. In this situation the player can make a meaningful difference within the campaign, risking his life to get those high-value targets.

I have been thinking over several things to differentiate the planets with in value:

  1. You could have different building resources that all are needed for building various things.
  2. Fleets needing fuel to move and having fuel deposits of different sizes on planets.
  3. Making movement between planets possible only through set paths, making some planets important because of their connections.
  4. Building and restoring production capacity would be more expensive (in relation to building fleets) and conquering planets would always save some of it.
  5. Planets having different levels of ‘habitability’ i.e. how much production they can actually house.

I have been thinking of going with all of these except from #3. You’ll see the results at the end of the week.