The Doc's Bio Lab for Scav Experiments - & other oddities.

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Rman Virgil
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Re: The Doc's Bio Lab for Scav Experiments - & other odditie

Post by Rman Virgil » 10 Jun 2014, 03:32

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The Release thread for New Pangaea SP_RC1: viewtopic.php?f=49&t=11744

Plus the following useful summary, and navigation, of all that pertains to the "New Pangaea SP" effort in this thread (also included in a more expanded version in the above linked Release thread).

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In the end, I subscribe to how Paul Valéry expressed it:
...A work is never completed except by some accident such as weariness, satisfaction, the need to deliver, or death: for, in relation to who or what is making it, it can only be one stage in a series of inner transformations.
It's a good time to let go as I'm starting to second guess myself. I've tried to anticipate as many possible questions that could arise and provide answers. If I've overlooked anything, I'll have to speak to it next week when I return from a wilderness sojourn in the Rocky Mountains.


A brief intro to GP:

* "New Pangaea SP" is a thoroughly asymmetric, and peculiar, mash-up of CAM & Challenge. Stealth, timing and surgical precision, in multi-vector maneuver, are vital to success. Ditto for your builds (where and when to) and how carefully you go about procuring atypical, fragile, resources (as well managing thier clear limits). You have to consider multiple fronts, and centers of gravity, every step of the way, in a manner that is non-rote. The decision making requires dealing with a close to wargaming level of conflict complexity, and wide spectrum situational awareness, without succumbing to panic. You also have to be able to decisively sacrifice on a par with a successful Queen's Gambit, when rote heuristics are strongly pulling you the other way.

* There's been no effort on my part to achieve universal GP appeal. I know for sure there is a segment that will hate it but they already have a vast repository of Addons to make them as happy a seabed of clams. The audience for this creation is a specific subset, for now. However, that audience could be vastly broadened for this type GP if Commanders were fully deved according to Warzone Creator's original design genome intention.

* This is definitely not a High Oil or even Middle Oil situation. It falls within the Low Oil continuum but I have totally redefined what that means within the specifics of my construct design.

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- These first 4 reads are crux to grokking "New Pangaea SP" offerings (as is being able to decipher and glean intel for strategizing from the "Map Preview"):


* "Triumph In The Balance": The short story, and accompaning graphic front piece with Omar Grimaldi future history snippet, that sets-up the gameplay situation of 'New Pangaea SP'.


* SAR Time Line: Essential Details and Backstory.


* "Puzzle Ditty" clue of core significance to unlocking a major challenge.

And remember, your goal is not to defeat the SAR (though for the heck of it you can try) but rather this:

* Your "New Pangaea SP" altered GP mission goal becomes: prevent the ManGodAi from getting thier hands on the Advanced Global Weather Modification Facility and crushing the SAR out of existence in the process.

There are but 2 ways for you, Team Epsilon interim leader, to achieve this and still sustain possible future agreeable diplomatic relations between the Project and a sovereign SAR - defeat the ManGodAi or destroy the facility... and, in either case, minimize SAR casualties.
* Note: A .JPG of the "Advanced Weather Modification Facility" is included in the attached .Zip along with the "New Pangaea SP.wz" and "Map Preview.jpg".


* The GP Sandbox aspect of 'New Pangaea SP'.

You can always alter what has been done to remake it into whatever suits you as a better GP experience. Just take it into FlaMe and have a go at it.


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- These last 4 reads are optional, though I do believe they offer key insights that some may find of useful interest and generative value:


* "Elective Affinities" - the Design Doc for 'New Pangaea SP' - Part 1 AND


* Part 2: Design Doc.


* Expanded WZ Timeline & Backstory: A 2-part graphic.


* Connecting the Dots - The Motivational Context: Past, Present, Future.


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- A recap of 2 closing thoughts:

1.) I would recommend you not go into Debug and initiate God Mode to study "New Pangaea SP" (you'll still have to uncover the critical "timing interlocks" through induction play). Instead, I would recommend taking a screen shot of the map preview and studying that as there are many clues to be gleaned from it (along with my postings) that won't rob you of the grit, grace & delight of discovering as much on your own. But that's up to you, of course.

2.) Besides the Trolleyology dilemma set up between you, the ManGodAi and the SAR, there is another central dilemma you will face. It has to do with self-preservation to battle another day at the price of deep sacrifice - of letting go when the mightest pull is to hold on tight. The tactic of "meat shields" represents an arcade GP of this notion. I like arcade as much as the next gamer but I wanted to move my GP dilemma along a continuum away from carefree, unfeeling sacrifice to really, truely, feeling the deliberated loss. So there will be that additional departure from the GP decision making norm to add to the rest of the atypical constellation of experiences you will come upon, that I hope will captivate in its parts as well as an integrated whole.

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I consider the Map Preview of "New Pangaea SP" essential Intelligence gathered by the 2 Transport's sensor arrays on the way to the crash site which becomes your opening base of Ops.

Along with the first 3 reads linked at the top of this post, being able to decipher the info provided by this "Map Preview" is really not optional if you are to grok the gameplay. It is so important that I am including the latest .jpg of it in the .zip attachment containing the "New Pangaea SP" .wz file.

Note: "New Pangaea SP" will show up as a Map-Mod and the only reason for that is that the .wz includes a Rocky Mountain tile set instruct to pre-empt the decal application. This was done because I believe the cliff terrain tiles look better without the decal. Thanks to NoQ for that suggestion. :) I still believe the decal works well with the "Arizona" tertile set. :3


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A shout-out word of thanks to:

* NoQ and Berg for all thier splendid efforts without which I would not have even attempted this. NoQ for all his A.I. creations, his suggestions to increase detail and eliminate cliff decals. Berg for his spot on Scav art work.

* Aubergine for all his work, input and genuine, multi-dimensional presence.

* Jorzi and the AR team for thier efforts which inspired throughout most of my dev even though in the end I had to sadly forego running the mod for code technical issues beyond my ability to resolve.

* Goth and Lord Apocalypse, for thier inspiring efforts and caring input which brought to life what got me into WZ in the first place.

* Shadow Wolf for his prodigious "Contingency" Mod and sharing some of his narrative creations.

* Montetank for inspiring map making shop talk.

* Iluvalar for his singular "NRS" creation and deep insights into the game.

* Crab for his outstanding new WZ Guide.

* The "Invisible College" from the Virtual Reality Gaming community for thier thorough understanding of, and feedback on, my atypical GP goals.

* Mero .... well, just for being Mero. ;)

* The Pumpkin Team for thier powerfully inspireing, and original 2-fold, GP design genome - as well thier collaborative commitment MEME, front and center, with thier retail audience.

* And last, but not least, the FOSS Development Team, for making WZ a cross-platform future contender in the RTS genre, 15 years into the 21st century.

Of course, while I may have been inspired by others, all short comings in what's been done are entirely on me.

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Re: The Doc's Bio Lab for Scav Experiments - & other odditie

Post by Rman Virgil » 07 Jul 2014, 20:21

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The Play Guide I just completed for "New Pangaea SP" also, to my suprise and delight, turned out to be a summation of this entire threads proceedings going back to the first post. In the end, making for a most apropos thread terminus and exit, stage left. XD
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The Guide:

~ Let's first go thru the stages of preparation, then break out the key details from there that need further expansion to make the atypical Game Play (GP) crystal clear.

1.) Apprehending the guts of the opening story scenario that sets the stage, and connected interactive mind-set, for the GP Challenges to be faced is not optional.

2.) Carefully analyzing the Preview Map, which represents valuable Intel from which you, the Commander, can form a first cut Threat Analysis and Resource Distribution Assessment of your situation - also not optional. This extends the GP details offered in #1.

3.) A first time 20-30 minute play thru which represents your opportunity to expand, boots on the ground, your Situational Awareness that inturn is combined with your understanding derived from steps #1 and #2, such that you are in the best possible position to form a viable strategy, with supporting tactics to execute and thier commitment order or timing interlocks.

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"...Combat of a different sort..."

What exactly does that mean ?

* Right upfront this guide should restate a basic premise I worked from, at its plainest:

GP would be forged and driven by a melding of a particular type of story and 21st Century maneuver warfare.

~ What kind of story ? Heroic, in the fundamental sense that the odds of prevailing are clearly stacked against you (hence the title, "Triumph in the Balance") and many of your decisions involve tough choices. Atypical choices in that for you to fall back soley on rote memorization from past experience won't be sufficient to bail you out when you find yourself between a rock and a hard place, which is actually how it all begins, thus:

* You must resist the SAR without trying to destroy them.

* You must contend with the ManGodAi but your mission prime directive was not to engage them at all, so you didnot come equiped for such an encounter and there is no doubt their force strength is greater from the start and they are immediately preying on your north western flank.

* Plus the SAR have misinterpreted your emergency response to acts of nature (that resulted in an unintended ManGodAi scrape forcing the crash) as a ruse and betrayal of your parlay agreement with them and thus are simultaneously nipping at your south eastern flank.

* Then there is the Project precious resource situation at the crash site - your start base of OPs. This brings us to a huge difference in how oil resources are handled in "New Pangaea SP" from the norm and why it was done this way.

~ WZ has one resource in 2 forms: typical oil wells and atypical oil barrels. The asymmetric distribution of these 2 forms of oil resources creates new GP opportunities and experiences.

* Specifically....

~ Attrition by way of typical oil wells can be remedied by atypical oil barrels in the form of SAR Supply Depots / Supply Lines.

* From your early on assessment of the start base, possible attrition is a factor to consider and prompts these basic questions:

- Can I hold this position ?

- Should I hold this position ?

- If yes, what are my options weighed against typical resources available immediately and those that can possibly be procured: typical wells and atypical oil barrel SAR Resupply Depots.

- To go after the atypical SAR Oil Resupply Depots entails the high risk of losing limited assets by venturing thru fortified, hostile SAR space, based on a first-cut Threat Analyisis of the Map Preview Intel and your first 20-30 min Play thru. I'll tell you straight up, it's a gamble well worth taking and positive results, while not a cake walk, are very doable once you get the hang of it.

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* "21st Century Warfare".... what does that mean and how does it relate to GP in "New Pangaea SP" ?

~ In 21st century warfare there is no single front line or center of gravity. It is asymmetric and multi-vector, driven by coordinated velocity to deal with potential multiple "Center of Gravity" (CoGs) threats. It is informed by threat analysis based on intel and poised situational awareness. There is nothing of fairness or balance in the challenges you must face. As the story is an ocassion for heroic challenges, so is the GP.

~ It also makes for new tactical possibilities such as:

~ Exploiting asymmetric topography, factoring cliff and LOS in an unpredictable lay of the land dominated by rolling elevations, 360 degrees, on a 249 x 249 scale that is checkered with SAR Earthworks and Oil Resupply Depots that you can exploit to make up for your initial disadvantages if you can muster a combination of nerve, imagination and composure under multiple threats.

~ Calculated risks, gambits and sacrifices in tactical maneuver present real possibilities for ultimate triumph starting from an inferior position of force strength and initial resource allocation bordering on attrition. This would include a WZ version of the Queen's Gambit in chess. Having mentioned this before without a clue as to what the heck I was talking about, I will now give you a clue. The WZ "Queen" = Your Start Base !! Take it from there, if you dare. ;)

~ Build Orders can still be a deciding factor but the decisions cannot be executed rote; they must be determined by specific Threat Analysis and Situational Awareness, plus the 2 forms of oil resourcing and thier asymmetric distribution.

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~ Am I asking too much of an RTS ?  

~ Do Extreme Sports ask too much of sport ?  

~ Perhaps we should call it something other than an RTS. Extreme RTS ? RTS + ? I prefer ARTS for Advanced RTS. "New Pangaea SP" is therefore WZ 2100 as an ARTS. Specifically, a continuation of Pumpkin's original, but curtailed, GP design built around the Commander design they couldn't fully realize because of the economic and technologic constraints of 1997-99. With those fully deved Commanders this GP is no longer niche. Just the opposite, I dare say.

~ What is needed to carry foward Pumpkin's curtailed original design for Commanders ? The JS API to address AI and the newly proposed WZ Qt Launcher to address changes to the Command & Control GUI and Mini-Map.

~ What would be the reconsituted relationship between Player, Commanders and GP ?

~ There is a splendid example in the recent "Ender's Game" movie based on the classic 1985 Sci Fi novel which was an inspirational favorite of WZ's lead software engineer and one of her core designers. That would be the climactic battle with Ender the general and his supportive team vs. the "Alien" armada.

~ The relationship in WZ terms would thus be:

1.) Player = Ender,

2.) Commanders = Supportive Team and

3.) GP = 21st / 22nd Century Warfare (as opposed to WW 1 or 2 in Sci Fi window dressing).

In conclusion, I have believed since the retail bbs commenced 1998, that within this nexus is to be found WZ's still unique and unequivocal promise of greatness yet to be, well into its second decade of initial creation. :hmm:

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