Friday, 30 April 2010

Stellar Forces: Ahora en Español!

Hola y gracias por leer esto. Por el poder de Google Translate (y mucho mejor por los mejores jugadores Víctor) Stellar Forces ahora tiene soporte multi-lingual. Por el momento no hay más que español, pero pronto habrá portugués gracias a PCasaca. Ahora estoy tomando las solicitudes de la lengua junto a añadir.

Gracias y buena suerte!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Stellar Forces: What makes a good mission?

I've been thinking about this for a while. It's true of this game and of the original Laser Squad that some missions are more enjoyable (or get played more, which may be for slightly different reasons) than others. Here's what I came up with:-

1. A mission where players can use multiple tactics.

Obviously a mission where the players can try all kinds of different tactics is going to get played a lot more than one where the same obvious tactic is the only one to use. A good example of a mission that allows for multiple tactics is The Assassins; the attacker can go through room by room looking for Sterner Regnix; or they can stand outside and blow the building away until Sterner eventually gets caught in an explosion; or they can blow a hole in a side wall and enter the building by an unexpected route. These are just a few ideas off the top of my head.

The "defenders" also have a good range of options; do they sit tight in the middle of the room and pick of their opponents off as they come through the doors; or do they make an audacious bid to leave the building thus making it very hard to be found? And which room is best to hide in?

2. A mission with an interesting map

I'll admit it, I've made a few boring maps in my time that are far too symetrical, but I've learnt from my mistakes! A god example of an interesting map is Moonbase Assault. There are lots of little rooms, lots of big rooms, and lots of long corridors. Each side of the map lends itself to different tactics, and the attacker is left to ponder when is best to reveal their location by destroying the computers. And where does the defender place their men? Do the concentrate them in the centre where all the computers are, or try and defeat the attacker before they get there?

3. A mission with a tight focus

Years ago I hacked the original Laser Squad and added loads more rooms to The Assassin map, thinking it would make a better game. Wrong! All it did was mean one player had to trudge around looking for the enemy, which was no fun. Players want to either get straight into the action, or know that the action is just round the corner ready to be got into. The size of The Assassins map is perfect; not too big and not too small.

The layout of the Moonbase Assault map is also ideal, as both players are heading for the same place and not wandering around looking for each other. I've also kept the randomly-generated maps of the Last Man Standing missions deliberately small so players are only round the corner from each other from the start. And now that there's a 4-player last man standing, it's not long before the bodies start piling up!