I haven’t played a good strategy title in some time, the entry on my dislike of recent titles is the cause. With Civ 4 Colonization ,I’m eyeing it right now but I’m not sure if I’m going to like it. Anyway its brought up my dream idea for a TBS game, one I came up with about 6 years ago. I never documented this idea as it eventually became too complex and I pulled the plug. The idea ballooned to the point that it made Civ look like a game of Candy Land, so like my RPG idea (that I’ve started documenting ) I figured I’ll share this idea on my blog.
(Note before I start, I just want to say this is a 6 year old idea so don’t expect the same amount of polish and detail from other ideas I’ve posted)
The game has some parallels to the Civ series, your goal is to take over the planet through a number of different goals. Unlike Civ this title begins either in modern day or a few decades back. You create a leader unit who represents you in the world, if he/she is killed it’s game over. Unlike Civ in which the entire world is represented on the map, the game is shown by countries. Starting out you can only issue orders to territories that your leader unit is currently in. As you add in better forms of communication you can issue more orders per turn to areas outside of where your leader is. Eventually you will reach the point that you’ll control continents, you won’t be able to order everything at this point and must give your generals control to manage while your busy elsewhere. The challenge is to give them enough control so that they can keep the land, but not so much that they can betray you.
Originally combat would have taken place during RTS battles, but with the release of Armageddon Empires, perhaps a turn based combat system could work. Units can be customized and build up from using different parts, such a solider with a flak vest, AK 47, and combat boots. You can also turn units into your own private guard, which costs more and they can only be with the leader unit, but they will be much stronger and protect them.
There are a number of ways to take over, using peace, force or something in between. In the early stages the other countries may help your fledgling nation out, but eventually your going to have to be on your own. Research will go down numerous paths, with some that restrict others once researched. You won’t be able to research “World Peace” and then go for “Super Anthrax”. By keeping the game focused on countries at a time instead of the world, it allows there to be a deeper game play interaction.
Sounds good so far right? The next part is where things blossom out of the control. I came up with numerous victory conditions, from taking over the Earth, to going into space, and even digging into the Earth and forming an underground society. That’s not the weird part, whatever victory you choose will set up a new game starting from that victory. Including fighting into space to colonize alien worlds (Alright I was playing Alpha Centauri around this time), and so on. Eventually the idea became a kitchen sink game and I killed it. I have no idea what the hell I was thinking 6 years ago, but I did send the idea to Firaxis… who promptly disregarded it.
I’m still on the search for that perfect TBS game for me, a game that is easy to learn but hard to master. Battles have the right amount of control, and min/maxing will not save you. I would go on about what I want from a strategy title but I already did that rant awhile ago.