Gameplay Proposals/Game Mode/Squad Commander Campaign

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Contents

Description

The Squad Commander Campaign is a kind of mini-campaign in which the player controls a single squad. After each mission, the squad's progress is saved and the player will earn money that can be spent on improving the squad's equipment. The player only controls the squad equipment, soldiers and battlescape performance. There is no base management, aircraft or any of the other aspects of the full campaign.

The Squad Commander Campaign will be designed as a multiplayer coop campaign and can also be played in single player. Many of these same features can also be used to play adverserial multiplayer games with a persistent squad, but that could be a separate proposal once this system is already in place.

Story

The player is the commander of a mercenary company. He and his soldiers are hired by countries and Phalanx to take care of specific mission threats. This story would help explain why the player is able to turn down missions.

Squad Management

The player will begin the game with a squad of 32 recruits. If his soldiers die, he will receive new recruits, but he will always have 32 recruits in his squad. From this squad, he must choose who will go on certain missions depending on how many soldiers are supported (usually 8 to 12, I would guess). His goal is to retain his soldiers so that he always has a strong team.

There should be a simple hospital system as well. It would be nice to be able to dismiss soldiers, but since the player will always have 32 recruits, this could be used to dismiss soldiers over and over until you get good recruits. There would need to be some way of preventing this -- perhaps a delay of one mission before new soldiers are available.

Mission Progression

At any point during the game, the player should be able to choose from easier or harder missions (3-5 mission), but the game will start with easier missions. The player can look at what missions are available and what the payment is for each mission. He can then choose the one he would like. Missions are only available for a certain "period of time". Most missions will be available only once (if the player chooses a different mission, it will go away). But some special objectives missions may be available for longer.

Harder missions of course bring more financial rewards. The player can choose to do nothing but easy missions, but special objective missions (see below) will always be harder and the player will be unable to "advance" to new technology or advanced scenarios without beating these more difficult missions.

The player should have control over the type and difficulty of the missions he chooses to play, but successful completion of the game should require him to tackle various missions. Disincentives could be introduced for failing to handle important missions. Nations/Phalanx could offer fewer missions or pay less money if they are unhappy with the player's response. In the end, the player's contracts could be suspended if they are unhappy with his performance.

Economy/Equipment

The player will start with basic equipment and then he will be able to purchase new equipment using credits he has earned from completing missions. In some cases, new equipment will become available as the game progresses, regardless of the player's actions (Phalanx has completed research).

In other cases, the player will earn access to new equipment (that must still be purchased) through the completion of successful missions. The player can also pick up and use equipment retrieved during missions.

Special Objectives

Special missions will appear from time to time. These may progress the campaign in some way, or they could just have interesting objectives. Possible missions: - Protect important facility/individual - Retrieve item from a map (could advance technology) - Terror mission - Investigate strange reports

Hospital

Perhaps we will need some kind of hospital function to handle wounded soldiers.

Roadmap

This is a set of intermediate stages would could be implemented on the way to full implementation of the proposal.

Mark I

A simple system in which the player is given a new squad of 8 soldiers. He must complete as many different missions as he can and after each mission his progress is saved. He can always choose from the same collection of weapons. There is no choice of missions. There is no economy. When all of his soldiers die he loses. Victory is achieved when he completes all missions.

Tasks
Support for saving the squad after each mission
Support for mapcycle
Setup of the new gametype in mp coop and skirmish
UI: Support for beginning the game in mp coop and skirmish
UI: Make sure the equip screen works for this gametype

Mark II

Adds support for 32 soldiers in the squad and getting new recruits when soldiers die. Game can not be "lost" but the player must still complete all missions in order to win.

Tasks
New soldiers created when existing soldiers die
UI: Way to select which of the 32 soldiers to take on the next mission

Mark III

Adds support for mission selection and special missions, and moves to a generated campaign system (not just a map-cycle). After each mission, the player can choose his next mission from several missions on offer. Not all equipment is now available at the beginning of the game. Some alien tech is opened up through special missions.

Tasks
Code must be written to generate a selection of missions (3-5) after each mission balanced to offer easier and harder missions throughout the game, and designed to progress through end-scenario missions
Code for special missions that grant access to alien tech when completed
UI: New interface for selecting the next mission and viewing each mission's details
UI: Messages displayed when the player has access to new equipment

Mark IV

Adds support for economy. Missions now bring in money and the player must purchase weapons with that money. More special missions and end-game

Tasks
Code must be written to track the player's credits and mission rewards
Mission definitions should include a price the offerer will pay for successful completion
More special missions should be set up
UI: Equipment selection will now also need a market window

Mark V

Adds support for the hospital and soldier dismissal

Tasks
Code to handle taking soldiers out of active rotation and putting them in hospital
Code to dismiss a soldier
Code to delay new recruits to fill empty slots for one mission to prevent abuse of dismissal
UI: Hospital view
UI: Dismiss soldier button
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