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macrossmission

Macross Mission

Overview

Summary

A 3-D space combat game in the style of Macross. The game is meant to be played by a large number of players at a LAN party.

All 3-D objects are simply vector outlines. I expect there to be too many moving objects to draw textures on them as well, and the game may even look better this way.

Dead is dead; dead players get a black screen until all living players are killed. The server admin can refloat all dead Valkyries and their pilots for a penalty to the final score.

The server administrator can control the number of fighters on either side, the number of VIPs in need of rescuing, and the size of the enemy capship.

Inspirations

  • Macross for the general visual theme
  • Battlezone and the Star Wars arcade game for evidence that vector graphics could work
  • Hellfighter for “dead is dead”
  • Wing Commander for the Valkyrie's starfighter mode
  • Mechwarrior for the Valkyrie's walker mode
  • The entire FPS genre for the Valkyrie's humanoid mode.

Objective

There is one mission: Fight through enemy fighters, break your way onto the enemy ship, rescue the VIP, plant a bomb to destroy the ship, get out safely, and escape to the friendly carrier SDF-1. When the mission ends, all players get an after-action report and a score is produced for the whole team.

Development Roadmap

Version 0.1

  • TODO: List features…

Features

Technical Features

Support for a large number of players.

Support for a large number of moving items.

Support for object breaking and crumpling, and for shooting holes in objects.

Dependencies

Artificial intelligences

  • Automated balancing
  • Ally individual movements
  • Ally unit movements (tactics and general tasks)
    • Spread out and attack
    • Flank as a group
    • Skip the dogfight and head for the capship
      • Hit turrets and launch capacity
      • Attempt to raid the ship
  • Determining when to use each Valkyrie mode
  • Determining when to use or save missiles
  • Determining whether a damaged enemy is hostile or no longer a threat
  • Raiding tasks
    • Securing an area
      • Cover all entrances
      • Cover an abandoned Valkyrie
    • Moving to assist allies elsewhere on the ship
    • Ignoring non-threatening crewmen and advancing to a task
    • Knowing when to eject and operate as a pilot
    • Knowing when to use missiles
    • Setting time bombs
    • Seeking the VIPs
    • Retreating with the VIPs
    • Rendering aid to wounded pilots
    • Clearing blockaded routes, moving enemy bodies out of the way
    • Escaping
      • Waiting before escaping
      • Covering fire for the escape
      • Evacuating
  • Raid defense (enemy AI)
    • Preassigned tasks
      • Staying in or near a region
      • Moving between regions
    • Running away
      • Hiding in crew quarters
      • Grabbing a pistol from an armory
      • Finding better armed people and warning them
      • Finding a pod for combat
      • Piloting and launching fighters so the intruders cannot damage them.
    • Fighting back
    • Reacting to Pilots
      • Panicked swatting
      • Trying to shoot one with a gun because the crewman is holding one
      • Stepping on them
    • Use of environment
      • Throwing items at intruders
      • Blockading doorways with movable objects
  • Artificially poor enemy reaction time

Gameplay Features

Input controls

In each of the Valkyrie's three modes, there should be a control scheme giving the player a great degree of control.

The three control schemes should have enough overlap that it feels natural to go from one to the next.

The controls should also support ejecting the Valkyrie and moving around as the pilot with a jetpack. The control scheme should be similar to the Valkyrie's humanoid mode.

All modes
  • Fire main gun (left mouse)
  • Fire missile (right mouse)
  • Speed up / slow down (mouse wheel?)
  • Eject (ctrl-e)
  • Target next target for missile (t)
  • Lock onto target (l)
  • Communicate ©
    • Follow my lead
    • Break and attack
Fighter mode
  • Transform into Walker (shift-mouse wheel?)
  • Yaw/Pitch/Roll (qweasd?)
  • Landing gear (g?)
Walker mode
  • Transform into Fighter
  • Transform into Humanoid
  • Swivel and aim (mouse)
  • Walk around (a/d?)
  • Jump jets (space?)
Humanoid mode
  • Transform into Walker
  • Aim (mouse)
  • Walk around (wasd?)
  • ? Lean/dodge left/right (qe?)
  • Crouch (ctrl)
  • Jump jets (space)
  • Put gun away and use hands (h?)
  • Collect pilot or VIP in storage bay

Game rules

3-D physics. You have no shields.

Game challenges

There are so many enemies that the chance of getting blown up is quite high.

Useful Strategies

Keep moving.

Story

Giant aliens have captured one or more VIPs. You are running a rescue mission to retrieve them from an alien scout ship.

Don't ask why there is only one alien ship when the aliens in canon have literally millions of ships attacking the Earth. It's for game balance.

Game World

It's in outer space. The game environment changes as you advance, but there is no strict sequence.

Starfight

This should be an good place to use Fighter mode with tactical conversions to Humanoid mode.

The enemies are the ball-shaped vehicles with legs. They move slowly but turn well. A fair degree of Artificial Stupidity is needed or else you won't stand a chance. Their guns are so strong that they blow through your fighters. This allows your fighters to sometimes survive while taking localized damage.

A few of your bullets will pierce the ball and kill the pilot, but will not destroy the ship. You will have a difficult time telling the active fighters from the inactive fighters. Your missiles will blow up the balls.

If you defeat enough of the enemies, the enemy capital ship will begin firing its guns at you since the commander is no longer afraid of hitting his own forces.

The usual engagement practice will be to dodge the enemy's initial shots, fire missiles when you are in range, and have one portion of your fighters dogfight while another advances to the enemy ship.

Capship Approach

This should be an excellent place to use Fighter mode.

The enemy capship will try to hit you with lasers and bursters. You have to dodge.

If you approach directly from the firefight, the ship may not fire lasers at you.

Capship Hull

This should be an excellent place to use Walker mode with tactical conversions to Humanoid mode to hit anything above you.

You can run around blasting the cannons or trying to find a way into the ship.

Enemy podl-fighers will pop out and walk around, shooting back at you.

Capship Internals

This should be an excellent place to use Humanoid mode.

The aliens are giants who have a human appearance but stand at eight times your height or more. As per the anime, humans need the Valkyrie to have a chance of fighting one.

They can grab a wrench and crush your Valkyrie. They can shoot a pistol that does significant damage.

One or two bullets from the Valkyrie's gun is enough to kill them.

You may run into guards with armor that are harder to bring down and who have rifles that do more damage.

You will also see some in their ball-fighter-walker craft. These are the most dangerous.

Suicidal charges to knock enemies on their asses might be a surprisingly good tactic if you can avoid getting shot on the way in. Collisions will still do damage to you.

If your fighter does not explode and the cockpit is not crushed, you stand a good chance of surviving and being able to eject. If ejected, you can shoot an unarmored enemy in the eye with your pistol to make them run away. Using engineering tools on one might make it flinch. They can step on you, swat you, or grab you and snap you in half for quick kills.

Characters

Player Character

The player character is simply another pilot in another Valkyrie.

Main Allies

Valkyries

The Valkyrie is a combat fighter/mech with three modes:

  • Fighter Mode - Fastest forward motion and least target area from a frontal perspective. You can only move and fire forward.
  • Walker (GERWALK) mode - You can aim on a pivot left and right. This is a good form for running around the outside of the enemy ship's hull.
  • Humanoid (Battroid) mode - You can aim in different directions fairly easily, you have some maneuverability, and you can engage in hand-to-hand combat after breaking onto the ship.

The Valkyrie's weapons are six guided missiles and a gun with 220 bullets. Both are available in all modes.

Pilots

After ejecting, you have talents and equipment:

  • You can jump into the cockpit of any abandoned Valkyrie which is still operational.
  • You can carry an unconscious pilot or VIP, or the body of a dead one.
  • You Are Small - You can sneak through air vents in the enemy ship.
  • You Are Weak - You can get stepped on or knocked into a wall for a quick death, and your weapon cannot kill the enemy.
  • Magnetic boots - will stick to any floor on the enemy ship.
  • Magnetic line - can be fired at any metal item to reel yourself toward it.
  • Jet pack - You have enough fuel for a lot of maneuverability. You can also fly into a wall at 100kph and kill yourself.
  • Pistol - You can shoot unarmoured enemies in the eye to make them retreat. You can also shoot each other and the VIP if you are an asshole.
  • Engineering Tools - Apply them to something for a while and it will be destroyed, disabled, or its state will change.
    • Engineering a wall will cause damage until the wall bursts or until you create a small hole in the wall. This will take a long time for a regular wall, but the grills covering air vents are extremely weak.
    • Apply them to burster ammo or a specific part of the engine room and you can set it to explode in five minutes.
    • Apply them to a bomb that is already set and you can cancel the explosion.
    • Apply them to a door lock and you can make the door open or close.
  • Localized damage: You can take damage to the head, arms, legs, and torso. Sufficient damage to any location will kill you. The only damage you are likely to survive is collision damage.
    • Damage to legs: will prevent you from standing, walking, and using the Valkyrie's yaw controls.
    • Damage to arms: will prevent you from using engineering tools. One working arm is needed to work a Valkyrie or fire a pistol.
    • Damage to head: will cause unconsciousness.
    • Damage to torso: slows you down.

Minor Allies

VIPs

The VIP has a blue and purple color scheme that is strikingly different from the green and white color scheme of everything else. It may wear a dress. The VIP is supposed to represent Minmei from Macross except that there can be several of them in a mission.

The VIP does not have a jetpack but can take one from the body of a dead pilot. Unlike the pilots, it will die if exposed to vacuum.

The VIP may be more easily crippled than a pilot, but be able to survive more damage.

Main Enemies

The Capship

The enemy capship has two weapons:

  • Lasers: will blast right through you with a wider radius than that of the enemy fighter weapons. A flash will hint at the angle that they will fire about a second before the fire.
  • Bursters: Cause spherical bursts that will tear you apart if you get caught in one. You can see the burst-bomb in motion, but you cannot tell when it will explode.

Getting hit by either weapon is almost always an instant kill, and the capship fires a large number at once. Each type of weapon is fired synchronously with other weapons of the same type.

Both weapons' ports can be destroyed by missiles. You can also knock out a weapons port by pumping enough bullets into it or hitting it with engineering tools.

The capship will not fire weapons if there is a good chance of it hitting its own fighters. The best approach is directly from the melee. When you have all but destroyed the enemy fighter force, it will open up on you even if you are not approaching it.

The size of the capship can vary based on the will of the game master. The capship's internals and outer weapons are procedurally generated.

Capship entry points include hangar bays, docking ports, windows that can be blown open,

Enemy Pods

The Reguld pods from Macross. Circular pods with feet that can walk. They have a single weapon, a laser that does piercing damage.

This is by far the most common enemy. You fight a large swarm of them at first and then face small numbers of them on the ship.

Drawbacks:

  • They do not have missiles, and you do.
  • The pilots are slower to react than you are.
  • Your side's gunfire will often kill the enemy pilot inside them, while their shots go through your fighters and don't necessarily cause a kill.

Unlike most games, they don't automatically blow up when you have defeated them. In the middle of a space battle, it may be hard to tell dead enemies from live ones.

Enemy Fightercraft

Relatively large fighters that carry large laser beams and missiles that have a wide damage radius. They can take a lot of damage since your weapons are so weak compared to them.

Drawbacks:

  • You are difficult for them to hit since you are so much smaller than they are. They were designed to fight something of the same size or larger.
  • The engines and missiles are vulnerable to getting shot and disabled / exploding.
  • If you can break into the cockpit of one, a Valkyrie in Humanoid mode can pilot it.

Enemies on ship

Besides running into pods again, you can face different types of crewmen.

Crewmen

The aliens resemble humans except that they are equally as tall as a Valkyrie in Humanoid mode. They can smash up the mech with their fists or whatever they have handy, but most of them will be too scared to try. They can easily kill ejected pilots by swatting them like flies or stepping on them. Some of them are equipped with pistols.

Drawbacks:

  • AI will have most of them be too scared of you to put up a direct fight unless they are armed.
  • They don't have afterburners. A Valkyrie can fly into a crewman and knock him flat on his ass.

Subtypes of Crewmen include:

Generic Crew

Nothing special. Some carry a pistol, some don't.

Engineers

Engineers are crewmen in overalls who have wrenches or hammers and are not afraid to use them.

Police

Alien MPs are guards posted to important locations. They appear alone or in small numbers.

Soldiers

Soldiers have rapid-firing long guns and will generally appear in large numbers and use coordinated tactics, often with Pods supporting them.

They wear armor but it may not do any good against your Valkyrie's guns, which shoot right through it.

They may have grenades.

Officers

The presence of an Officer raises the morale of all nearby crewmen, discouraging them from retreating.

The Officer's AI will have the best knowledge of the weaknesses of the Valkyries and Pilots.

Officers have a strong desire to capture and keep VIPs. They will not intentionally kill VIPs and will often be found guarding one.

Officers are not found in groups except on the bridge. If two officers run into each other, one of will be sent away to organize a defense elsewhere unless

Alternate game mode: Island

A simulation of the first episode's assault on the island where SDF-1 was being launched. The Walker mode comes in very handy here.

Basically, you have a smaller number of Valkyries and you have to fight off waves of pods that attack from the shoreline.

Flight physics will be different since you are in an atmosphere and not in space.

Leaving the area of the Island will take you over flat water.

Landing in the water should cause you to sink. It should be possible to walk on the ground underwater.

Game Deliverables

Graphics

Models of everything.

Sound

Something that sounds like the anime's music, or like Journey's Ask the Lonely and Separate Ways.

Metadata

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macrossmission.txt · Last modified: 2013/11/29 19:14 (external edit)