Entry 43 - Communication

So, there is a ready idea. This idea was tested as a map for Warcraft 3. This map was interesting to play. Why then after testing it was decided to completely abandon such an idea?


Straight to the point - the main problem is that the game requires too much communication within the team. As I wrote earlier, the genre of this game is essentially real-time strategy. In strategies, our entire base is like one complex "character" that we develop and control. Each building or unit is just a part of one unified whole. And there should be no competition for resources between these parts. When we are going to invest resources in the development of the base, we evaluate the current strengths and weaknesses of this "character". Since resources are limited, we have to choose and consciously sacrifice some aspects in favor of others. The correctness of these choices largely determines the outcome of the battle.


In ordinary strategy games, all these choices take place in the mind of one person who tries to implement some clever idea and thus defeat the opponent. Meanwhile, the situation dynamically changes, and you have to constantly adapt to the circumstances. Let's say you planned a daring raid into the enemy's rear - sail to his base in boats and strike from behind. From the direction where he least expects it. With this strike, you plan to defeat the enemy completely, so you invest all the wood in building boats. But suddenly the opponent starts attacking you, trying to destroy the palisade that protects your base. Wood is also needed to repair the palisade, and now you are faced with a choice.



Perhaps the enemy's attack is not that dangerous, and you should not deviate from your plan to strike the enemy from behind. Or maybe this attack needs to be repelled first, and only then you can return to the boats. There's a lot of information rushing through your head.


But what if there are several players on the team? Who will make decisions and form the main strategy? What if you got the right amount of wood and were about to build a boat, but suddenly you discover that another player on your team has already used that wood to craft a cart because he didn't understand your plan? In regular strategy games, there are modes where you fight in teams, but each player controls their own separate base and collects their own resources, so there's no such problem - everyone implements their own plan.


But what about the Island Troll Tribe map? In it, players manage ONE base and SHARE resources, but at the same time it was interesting to play this map. So, the thing is that all the times we played this map, the whole team consisted of one group of friends. We were all in one audio chat, so we had the opportunity to quickly coordinate our actions. There was a lot of communication - every decision in the game required discussions. From choosing the location for the base to the tactics of conducting individual battles with opponents. Such cooperative work really gives a lot of positive emotions. The trouble is that not every player has a team of friends who are always ready to play. So players simply queue up and the game automatically forms teams from that queue. You can also enter as a group of players into the queue, if your friends currently are free and also want to play with you. As a result, in practice a team often consists of several separate groups of friends, or even single players. And every next match the composition of the team can change. Not all players are ready to communicate out loud with random strangers - some simply do not have such an opportunity (there is no microphone or headphones, or someone else is in the room), and there is often a language barrier. As a result, communication between separate groups of players within a team is reduced to brief messages in chat. But it won't be enough for my game. So, as I wrote at the beginning, the main problem is that the game requires too much communication within the team. Next time I'll talk about how I changed the core gameplay to deal with this problem.

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