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GothicGothicness September 22nd, 2010 20:19

Tactics without Grid
We are thinking about rewriting the engine to not have any kind of grid…. no squares, no hexagones or things like that, and instead allow free form movement such as in return to krondor or silent storm….. what do you guys think? is it a bad idea which will make battles less tactica and less fun?

or is 360 degrees completely free movement better for a strategy game?

please help us with advice!

wolfing September 23rd, 2010 00:07

I say, if your engine is already working fine and dandy, don't change it. Don't fall in the endless spiral that many indy projects fall on changing already done stuff. Why fix it if it ain't broken. Civ 5 is a AAA title released in 2010 and it uses hexes, so it's not like grids are a thing of the past.

dteowner September 23rd, 2010 03:58

Wiz8 shows that you can have very tactical combat without a grid. That said, I still agree with wolfing.

GothicGothicness September 23rd, 2010 08:32

The thing is, it is really limiting the game in terms of artistic freedom and other things. Objects begin to look square because they have to fit into the given grid… and other such a problems…. that is when we began questioning whatever the old square grid system is really a good idea or not….

If we are going to dump it we are going to have to do it now, while it won't be an unacceptable amount of work….. but there are few games without the grid system… and I can think of several scenarios where it might be limiting…..

So we kept discussing but we are still undecided… help and advice is very welcome…. don't think about the work required but rather about which will be best for the game…..

dteowner September 23rd, 2010 15:07

Can't you do the old "small feet" trick with your art (I'm thinking in terms of sprites, so this question might be horribly outdated) so that the base fits into the grid but the body isn't similarly limited? Usually, the body was turned about 45deg so that they didn't "share space" if 2 critters were on adjacent spots on the grid. I can see screenshots in my head, but I simply can't bring up the name of the game that did that, sorry.

Of course, in the battle of artistic integrity and coding realities, it might be easier to just shoot the artist. ;)

GothicGothicness September 23rd, 2010 15:58

haha, it is full 3d so it won't work :P But thank you anyway!

dteowner September 23rd, 2010 16:20

I guess we're back to shooting the artist, then. ;)

I'm no programmer, but I'd think working within a grid would be significantly easier for just about everything (movement, combat AI, positioning, etc) so I'd think you'd be ahead in the long run to compromise on the art rather than compromise on "just about everything", yes?

wolfing September 23rd, 2010 23:18

I'm indifferent really. Right now I'm (re)playing Gladius, which uses squares, it looks good (still after like 8 years, and in the PS2) and I haven't noticed any 'squareness', but I'm not an artist, I'm just interested in the tactical battles, AI, units, abilities, modifiers, goals, etc. I.E. the gameplay.

GothicGothicness September 24th, 2010 08:42

Yeah, primary focus is of course on gameplay… but I am not completely sure whatever it will be worse with a freeform movement…..

Alrik Fassbauer September 24th, 2010 13:10

I don't care much, although I must say that I'm so much used to a grid that I don't remember many games having none.

So, I'd say : Just go on with it. ;)

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