One of my gripes with standard Tower Defense games is the lack of control over upgrades of towers. The decision the player has is basically ‘upgrade a tower, or build a new one’. I think that’s a little limited. gamers these days are happy to look at a choice of ten guns in an FPS, and choose the one whose weight / accuracy / rate of fire / ammo suits their playing style. I think we should at least give the player those sorts of choices when they pick their turrets in GTB.
A problem that Gratuitous Space Battles had, was the huge range of different weapons, and no hints as to what one is best for any particular situation. All the stats were there, but comparing them in the initial (1.0) release of the game was tricky. later patches fixed this, but it was still a bit overwhelming. Add in the extra DLC weapons and there are even more.
One of the ways I’m fixing this in Gratuitous Tank Battles is by sharing weapons across classes. Another is augmentations.
In GSB you had cruiser guns, frigate guns and fighter guns. GTB has large, medium and small units (mech/tank/turret) plus infantry. The difference is, a lot of the guns are interchangeable this time. So a fast gatling laser, for example, might be mountable on a medium or heavy tank, mech or turret. There are suddenly a LOT less overall choices to keep track of.
The second feature is augmentations. These are like little mini-bonuses to a component. One of them is a range-booster augmentation. This could be applied to ANY weapon. So you can combine it with missiles to get long range missiles, or with a ballistic weapon to get a long range cannon. Again, this means a lot less choices to suddenly spam you with, but still a lot of interesting combinations.
Some units have 2 augmentation slots, some 1, many have none.
I think this system works very well, it solves a lot of the design issues I had with GSB, and I wish I’d thought of it before. It’s similar to the ‘perks’ in Call of Duty, which is pretty much what made me consider it.
Hopefully this moves GTB towards the holy grail of strategy games which is ‘quick to learn, lifetime to master’. GSB was more ‘lifetime to learn’.
See… I do listen to gamers opinions :D Tell me what you think. Is this a good move? If not, why not? :D