That’s right, I got nothing done from a coding perspective yesterday. Turns out my engine was having problems that needed fixing and that sucked up all my coding time.
But, I did some design work, so I’ll present that. First, my requirements:
* Buildings that either produce units or resources
* The ability to gather resources with units.
* The ability for units to fight each other.
* The ability to control units with band-selection and target specification.
* The ability to win the game by destroying all enemy structures
* Graphics for each unit, building and map
* A basic AI.
WOULD LIKE TO HAVE
* Map with different terrain types: blocking, slowing and normal squares
* Better graphics
* Sound effects
* Improved GUI
* Improved AI
WOULD BE AWESOME IF I COULD HAVE
* Multiplayer. Possible in seven days?
* Artist-done art (find one on IRC?)
Second, the design notes (I present these as-is, they are kind of free-associating):
Chitin is about two colonies of bugs fighting over resources. There will be buildings, workers and combat units.
Workers: Mite swarm. This is a swarm of very small units (basically dots) that will harvest any resources near their nest. Mites can’t be killed, so there’s no way to stop someone from harvesting. Mite nests can be built near resources and they’ll strip the resources bare in no time; think army ants. There’s no “owning” a resource; if two colonies build a mite nest near a resource then both colonies will harvest it (depleting it twice as fast).
Combat units: Three of various sizes. Dead combat units can be harvested by mites so it’s best to fight away from mite nests you don’t own. Classic rock-paper-scissors setup. We’ll have spitters, armored melee and fast melee. Spitters beat armored melee because they’ll wear them down before they get into range. Fast melee beat spitters because they get into range quickly and spitters are relatively weak. Armored melee beats fast melee because fast melee has no armor.
Plus, how about a big gargantuan unit, like a beetle? Slow, hard to destroy, but spits powerful acid a long way and can kill a colony all by itself if left unattended. Worth a lot resources if it can be killed and harvested, so it’s a risk/reward thing for the player that tries it.
Direct control of combat units?
Hmmm…how about a slow but steady drain on – YES. You win the game not by destroying the enemy whatever, but by making your enemy run out of ichor. Ichor is the resource of Chitin and will be used for everything. Ichor will have a +- marker next to it just like a resource in Total Annihilation, so you can see if your ichor income is rising or falling. You start with a slow ichor drain and every unit and building you make increases this drain, so you need to get out there and use your units to explore (which means there must be fog of war).
Creeps. That’s it, I think. There will be other insects on the map, you use your combat units to kill them for food then plant mites next to them to gather their resources. As you do, your ichor goes up meaning you can make new units (and maybe upgrade them?) But if you have no bugs to harvest, your ichor level will drop based on how many units you have in the field; when it gets to zero, you lose the game (your colony is untenable).
Creeps are also of the three different types; use the right bug on the right kind of creep – but be aware that you could get ganked by an enemy bug army that can counter yours.
The player can directly control all units except the mites. There won’t be any pathfinding on the units – after all, they’re drones. It’s your job to get them where you want them to go.
The player will end up with mite nests all over the place but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. A smart player might lure a creep towards a mite nest before killing it.
So far I’ve got two buildings (colony and mite nest) and four units (spitters, speeders, brutes and the big bug) and one resource (ichor). That seems doable in seven days.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Feedback welcome!