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Command and Conquer - Tiberian Nights


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Some stats for a hypothetical C&C game I wrote some years ago.

This was intended to be a pixeled, old-school command and conquer, featuring 3 well-balanced sides: GDI with a hightech firepower and battlefield dominance, Nod with an arsenal and special abilities for underground guerilla warfare, Soviets with an army, where the strength comes from mass-producing and manpower.


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Heh.... I kinda like this.
I think many more have done something similar.
I too did this once. It is a story of me being a little kid though.

Was your plan to put this into a game. Then see if the balance was even close to correct?
Or did you use some construct in order to have a decent starting balance. And then slightly adjust?
The file does look like a decent plan to me.
Any chance you ever put it to work?

Anyway, here is my TLDR story if you are interested.


Right, so my first time was putting numbers in a table. And simply draw pictures of the units.
I was a 12 year old kid...
I had no idea how things could be balanced back then. So I started with some simple formula's.
Had every colour of the rainbow, including white, grey, brown and black as a faction. Even a mix or anything else.
I copied C&C factions, made mixes of units. Also added the Starcraft factions....Warcraft factions, sigh, yes.
KKnD and even UT99 had influence. Obviously Dune was not to be missed. Good old days.
Basicly, every counter of the enemy was slightly stronger.
I played with RPS systems that had either 3/2/1, 9/5/1 or a sum of 24 over 4 types.
But before that, I used percentages against a type of armor. This was very...very tedious.
And the health/damage ratio was born. Had one of 6, one of 12 and one of 24.

Later on I did some actual work in Starcraft maps. Where I had a sharper RPS system through armor.
I was a 15 year old kid.
I learned that durability is a very heavy factor.
Balanced the stuff through playing a lot. Eventually added 2 more factions.
And made a single player campaign, which only was completed for 8 missions.
The strategy was deep enough for my age.
It is a shame that most maps are lost with that RPS system. But I think I have 1 co-op, still somewhere as backup.
I also made UT maps where players would tear off their hairs.

18 years... studying... made a textbased game on the TI92+.
It had C&C RPS. The calculator became slow though. It was simply armor and damage for every possible design.
So I made some other games back then...
2 where artillery games. Where 1 was like worms and the other was ehm..... you had your own planet with gravity kind of thing. It was very werid.
But the C&C game was played for 2 weeks with 6 people. Costed me 2x4 AA batteries.
Don't use randomness in your game. It eats batteries and is very slow.
Also played with lego with my little cousin. He loved Starcraft. He loved having the lego tanks as well. He felt powerfull when throwing my tanks to the other side of the room. Although, sometimes only the cannon would fall off, the rest stayed in one piece due to proper design I guess.

21 years.... still had the retardency to continue making notes for...a text game.
We had one going for 60 people. Untill they discovered a way to become immortal.
Game over...
We made plans for a second game. One that would fix the problems. But it was to hard to program for either of us...
O yeah, my cousin turned 12 that year and was programming stuff for fun already.
The game made use of the fact that the damage....was perfect for the armor.
1 damage would be 100% on 1 armor. 100 damage would be 100% on 100 armor.  100 damage would be 1% on 1 armor...
Something like that. But the reason for training fodder was born that day.

24 years....
Starting to analyse any RTS game I could get my hands on.
Discovering similarities. But also major differences.
Made notes about how some games did some unique balancing.
Made notes about how some games had a certain combat calculation.
Making predictions. Checked them with the existing stats. I actually had some successes with some games in that regard.
But not all was good.

27 years...
Yip, still going. Time for designing a board game for fun.
Health/Damage ratio was very important at this point.
Used the same mechanic of comparing armor to damage. Then simply use a formula to determine how much value a design had.
Things like cooldown, rof, splash damage etc. Where all banished. They made no sense to me.

30 years... played the stupid board game. Especially with my cousin. Look, in the meantime, I worked from 24 years old. I have a career and tried to look as normal as possible. Actually bought a house with a plan etc. A very, very devious plan. Yes... I was very happy screwing that guy over who initially tried to screw me over.

33 years... the board game is like.... super fun. We had fun. We had tanks, vehicles, infantry, troopers, helicopters, submarines, artillery, X-ray, Flackcannon tank, something very nasty that said BOOM!!! and a whole squad was gone. Death Knights, Night Elves, Elven Destroyers, Destroyer of Worlds: "Ogralord" Stuff like that. We copied almost any idea that existing RTS had. Then.... we also copied Call of Duty, Unreal Tournament....Minecraft... Well minecraft didn't work out. And some (3D) cartoons as well. Star Wars vs Star Trek (what a mess) etc.

36 years...
While I kept testing things. I discovered how a weapon that is charging up, should be balanced. Yes, I kept working on my prototype board game. The same happened for cooldown, suicidal units, certain artillery types, when units move and attack, when units attack a moving target, healing, repairing, shields, regeneration, produciton, buying weaponry, and.... the attack range factor is 150% that of movement speed. Well, actually the square root of 2. But hey.... who cares. Let's not forget how assault units work, how assault on itself works and how projectiles work that ignore the terrain to some extend. I used a lot of math techniques where the limit is being calculated. And the thing that I am most proud of is that infantry....can actually beat the tanks in my game with a slight advantage of 21% due to the damage die that has a 001234 roll on a 5 health basis where the health/damage ratio is only 3. Ok, you could follow that?
So...I started on working on a public variant. Big F on that one.
Youtube!! Since I discovered an RTS for on the mobile. And it has eaten a lot of my time.

Right now! 39 years...
Man... the stuff I learned from all of that...
Either way, I helped some other people with their stuff. And one actually got a game published. Earning money... ( I got 2 free copies of that game).
And the public variant. Well, let's say that most mechanics still work. But the health tracking is reduced to an all time low. I only need to thing of 1, just 1 good faction. And I could start creating and printing the new board game pieces.
Speaking of which. Binairy Health tracking on 3d pieces (size slightly bigger than Risk pieces) seems to be....tough. Not impossible. But it is kinda clumsy for the players.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Interesting. You mean C&C or my mod can be realised as a pen&paper game?

It was thinking about sometimes, but is difficult to decide which game to use as base. TD/RA1 have not the engine to support all technical features.

Some of the ideas actually were put into my Discovert Ops campaign. Though Discovert Ops doesn't base on a side specific gameplay, instead the player has to fight against an enemy with superior technology, and even each mission has its own tech tree and unique units.


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