Gameplay of Unvanquished

In this article, I'm going to explain briefly the fundamental gameplay changes we introduced since Tremulous GPP.

For now, we have the new gameplay isolated on the Development & Testing Server; but we will soon be setting up additional localized servers for the upcoming Summer Tournament. While everything I explain here might be subject to change over the course of development, we will freeze the gameplay as soon as the tournament preparations begin.

Resource System

In Tremulous there was a fixed amount of build points available for each team that could be spent on constructing buildables. If a buildable got destroyed, build points entered a queue and subsequently became available again after a short time, which prevented quick rebuilding after a successful attack. We wanted Unvanquished to become more of a real time strategy game, with actual resources that get acquired and spent only once. This should make camping a less rewarding strategy, as destroying a structure will irreversibly remove some of the enemy team's resources.

Build points are now acquired via two structures, the human drill and the alien leech. These buildings have a spherical area of effect that they would like to keep to themselves and thus they need to be spread out for maximum efficiency. Builders will see another bar above the health bar of a resource generator which represents its efficiency. A prediction will be shown when you position the buildable.

The base mine rate of the level decreases over time, so that it gets increasingly harder to acquire resources in a long lasting match. Since a team's resources will run out at some point, there was no point in keeping the artificial sudden death. If you manage to save some resources for the late game, your chances of recovering from a successful attack will be higher.

For a more detailed explaination of the resource system, read the related article.

Stages & Confidence

Tremulous put a team on a higher stage when they killed a number of enemies, which had two drawbacks. Most importantly, being killed by an enemy not only removed your personal equipment and gave the enemy player a resource advantage but it also made the enemy team stronger as a whole. The other issue was that camping and other forms of passiveness were rewarding since it's easiest to kill an enemy if you are inside or close to your own base. Instead of using the total amount of personal resources gained, we now try to measure the progress of a team over time, or pace. The resource that represents this is called confidence.

Confidence can be earned by both building and destroying structures but also by killing an enemy outside your own base, as long as that enemy spent personal resources on equipment or a higher class. If your team's confidence reaches a threshold you will stage up but you can also stage down again if you idle for too long as confidence decreases exponentially over time. When you stage down, you will lose access to anything new of whatever the lost stage provided, but existing upgrades will remain functional.

Again, there is an article explaining confidence in detail.

Human building

The reactor now supplies power to every point on the map, but there is a limited amount of energy per region. Human buildables will compete for power and shut down if they don't get enough.

Human builders will see a new bar below the health bar of their buildables, which shows the spare power a buildable can share with potential neighbors. If you want to place a greater number of buildables in an area, you can build a repeater to increase the available power. Be warned that repeaters will deal significant damage to nearby structures (and players) when they explode!

When the power consumption in a region is too high, the smallest possible number of buildables will power down so that the other strucutres have enough energy to remain operational. The drill is the only buildable that requires a nearby repeater or reactor to work, since resources are transmitted via the power grid.

The basilisk consumes power, too, so it can shut down buildables by its presence. Humans can improve the power supply with repeaters to prevent this.

Wildfire

The flame thrower in Tremulous was merely a more expensive painsaw when it came to attacking bases. It has now gained the ability to ignite alien buildables! If structures are built too close, the fire can jump over to the unfortunate neighbors, making the flamer worth its price.

A small fire has a good chance of going out after a short time but a group of burning structures will keep itself hot enough for greater mayhem. Fortunately for the aliens, the advanced granger's spit attack can be used to put out fires.

Movement & Combat

Dodge has been removed. As a compensation, humans can now sprint longer.

The grenade price has been increased from 200 to 300.

What will be next?

After the tournament, we will evaluate how well confidence and the resource system work in a competetive environment. The statistics logging facility will help us with that and also give us a good impression of the current state of balancing, as alien and human players are guaranteed to be equally strong in average by the tournament rules (each team has to play both species). With that insight, we will develop new guns, alternative firing modes, alien classes and buildables and continue to evaluate and redesign more parts of the core gameplay. Be sure to give your feedback and ideas!

Refresh Posts
Re: Gameplay of Unvanquished -- killing time
Monday, 01 July 2013 04:41
"Viech" wrote:
While the flamer thrower in Tremulous was merely a more expensive painsaw when it came to attacking bases, it now gained the ability to ignite alien buildables! If structures are built too close, the fire can jump over to the unfortunate neighbors, making the flamer worth its price.

A small fire has a good chance to go out after a while but a group of burning structures will keep itself hot enough for greater mayhem. Fortunately for the aliens, the advanced granger's spit attack can be used to put out fires.

Sounds highly amusing. Can't wait to see the advgranger.png fire brigade
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Re: Gameplay of Unvanquished -- rustynaps
Tuesday, 02 July 2013 00:34
The flamethrower thing seems very interesting.
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Re: Gameplay of Unvanquished -- kharnov
Tuesday, 02 July 2013 03:21
Fire can be seen as a sort of human poison equivalent, although with different mechanics.
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Re: Gameplay of Unvanquished -- janev
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 06:54
It would be pretty cool if you could also light aliens on fire. If you don't want to have the fire actually damage aliens for balance reasons it could cancel regeneration for the duration of the fire.
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Re: Gameplay of Unvanquished -- deathreaper
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 07:34
"janev" wrote:
It would be pretty cool if you could also light aliens on fire. If you don't want to have the fire actually damage aliens for balance reasons it could cancel regeneration for the duration of the fire.

I think this would be 'okay' if we modified the fire a bit. The lighting on fire of the aliens i think is a no go but i think if you use a flamethrower on one it should get 'burnt' so it can cancel the regeneration for some amount of time. With this additive; we should make it so the flamethrower isn't as strong because we don't want it to OP. Just an added part to your statement/opinion.

Anyways I'm excited to try out this Flamethrower on alien bases. The fire moving throughout the base if the structures move close enough is pretty cool and a little more realistic. I like where Unv. is doing (:

The Build points taking time to regenerate back together seems a little stressful. It does cut out the camping(thats a big plus) but it makes it a little harder to keep a base going. I guess that's the point but I'm not sure if that will be as satisfying to play with. We'll see though c:
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Re: Gameplay of Unvanquished -- virus
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 10:11
"janev" wrote:
If you don't want to have the fire actually damage aliens for balance reasons it could cancel regeneration for the duration of the fire.
You can always make it deal 1 dmg/s.
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Re: Gameplay of Unvanquished -- janev
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 11:59
"ViruS" wrote:
You can always make it deal 1 dmg/s.
That would probably be enough to kill little aliens but not enough to stop the regeneration on big ones. It gives you a different outcome.
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Re: Gameplay of Unvanquished -- seana11
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 21:45
"Viech" wrote:
Human builders will see a new bar below the health bar of their buildables, which shows the spare power a buildable can share with potential neighbors. If you want to place a greater number of buildables in an area, you can build a repeater to increase the available power. Be warned that repeaters will deal significant damage to nearby structures (and players) when they explode!

Are more buildibles able to be built when the bar is full or when it is empty?
Quote:
Movement & CombatDodge has been removed. As a compensation, humans can now sprint longer.

Was this acheived by increasing stamina, or decreasing the stamina drain of sprinting?
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Re: Gameplay of Unvanquished -- viech
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 22:08
"seana11" wrote:
Are more buildibles able to be built when the bar is full or when it is empty?
A full bar means there is so much (or more) spare power at the position of the buildable as if there was no building there at all. An empty bar means no new buildable can be built in range.
"seana11" wrote:
Was this acheived by increasing stamina, or decreasing the stamina drain of sprinting?
Can't tell you, this happened before I worked on the code.
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Re: Gameplay of Unvanquished -- killing time
Thursday, 11 July 2013 01:54
"seana11" wrote:
Was this acheived by increasing stamina, or decreasing the stamina drain of sprinting?

The amount of stamina available is also much larger than before when compared to the amount of stamina used to jump. As jumping and sprinting are the only two relevant actions, one can say that for any practical purpose stamina has increased.
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Re: Gameplay of Unvanquished -- ishq
Thursday, 11 July 2013 05:15
Stamina was increased.
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