Gameplay Proposals/Advanced Base Building

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Author: BTAxis (talk, contrib)

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Advanced Base Building

This is a (rather radical) proposal for an enhancement to the base building part of the game.

When building a new facility, the player should be given the opportunity to rotate the facility he is placing. All facilities, including the double-size ones, should have four different orientations. When placing a facility, the player should be able to rotate that facility by pressing a button. The image underneath the cursor should rotate to reflect this.

One of the major advantages of having rotatable tiles is that the tiles no longer require to have an entrance on every side. It is possible for facilities to have three or even two entrances (in fact, the command centre could have only one!), and the player can make sure that the facilities are always connected. In fact, it is possible to enforce connectivity by requiring that the facility to be placed has at least one entrance that connects to the entrance of a facility that has already been placed.

To indicate where the entrances are, markers should be placed on the image, Ideally, these markers should only show when the player is placing a facility.

Cost

  • To realize the rotated map tiles in base defence missions, one of two things needs to happen:
    • Code needs to be added that can rotate a map tile at map load time. This is difficult, but no map tiles need to be duplicated. Or,
    • All the base map tiles need to be reproduced three times, each time in a new orientation. This is relatively easy, but will require each map to be stored four times. At the time of writing, the base tiles take up 4,5MB of space, zipped. Rotating them all will require a total of 18MB of space, a 13,5MB increase. Every new base facility will increase the space taken by four times its zipped size.
  • The base facility images also need to be rotated. This is easy.
  • Optionally (preferrably), functionality for showing the entrance markers on the base images has to be coded. This can be as easy as duplicating all the images with markers, but as they all have to be rotated already that would mean 7 new copies of every image have to be created. A more elegant solution may be called for.

Benefits

  • Rotating base facilities adds some variety to the base missions.
  • If facilities no longer have to conform to the entrances-on-all-sides paradigm, designing different facility layouts becomes possible, as less space has to be dedicated to keeping the path clear for 2x2 units.
  • Base building becomes MUCH more fun. Remember that a base site may have squares where no facilities may be placed. Combine this with facilities that may not have the entrances where you want them, and you're looking at a veritable puzzle.

Conclusion

Implementing this addition to base building is not going to be trivial. However, I'm convinced that the benefits well outweigh the cost, and would add more shine to an already great game.

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