NOTE: This is the document I have been working on to define the game rules and mode configurations for Insurgency's gameplay. There are many discussions about making the game more or less 'tactical' or 'realistic'. As you can see, this simplifies Insurgency down to its essence. It offers a unique experience that is easy enough to understand for new players, and gives everyone a chance to play something different from what other games have to offer. This is by no means 'official' yet in terms of the game's direction, so I wanted to share it with everyone and get some feedback.
First, I outline the game rules. Then there's a short philosophy to explain how these have been defined. Also, this does not include Co-op modes -- that's a separate document.
The purpose of this document is to define Insurgency’s multiplayer gameplay. The challenge is to create an enjoyable experience for both the core community of tactical fans and the majority of casual gamers.
A simplified set of rules need to be created that represent Insurgency as a ‘tactical’ experience. It should appeal to competitive gaming, while providing fun experiences in public servers. These game rules can be configured to form the foundation of each game mode that collectively fulfill the spectrum for short and long durations of play in both large and small level design environments.
All game modes require the same victory conditions:
- Complete all objectives (Territorial and/or Destructible)
- Eliminate all enemy
Each objective has an ownership variable that is assigned to either team or begins neutral. Objectives can be linked to other objectives, creating a dependency of a team’s ownership of one objective before another is active to secure. There are two types of objectives - Territorial and Destructible - each serving a unique purpose of adding reinforcements to a team or removing reinforcements from the opposing team.
- An objective area entity.
- Requires a set time and % of team to neutralize and secure.
- Optional requirement for players to remain in the objective area to maintain a team’s possession. If no player is in the area, it remains neutral.
- Has a rate (time and number) of reinforcement waves provided when a team controls.
- Can set a maximum number (or unlimited) reinforcements provided per round by that objective.
- Can be assigned to an object such as weapons cache, or radio, or vehicle, or NPC character.
- When destroyed, it removes reinforcement waves of team in control. Has a bleed rate (time and number) of reinforcement depletion.
- Each team has a pool of reinforcement waves.
- Game mode determines initial pool size and time between reinforcement deployments for each team.
- Securing territorial objectives add reinforcements to pool according to set variables.
- Losing your destructible objective will reduce the pool number by set variables.
- When a territorial objective is secured by your team or if your team’s destructible objective is destroyed, this will respawn all dead players without using a reinforcement from the pool.
GAME MODE CONFIGURATIONS:
All variables, such as timing and reinforcement numbers are subject to change based upon playtesting and level design.
Security / Insurgents / <Territorial> / (Neutral) / [Destructive]
FIREFIGHT: <A> - ( B ) - <C>
- 3 territorial objectives.
- Middle objective begins neutral and provides only 1 reinforcement to the first team that secures.
SKIRMISH: (A) - ( B ) - ( C ) - (D) - (E)
- 5 territorial objectives all begin neutral.
- Each objective is worth 3 reinforcements.
- Both teams start with 0 reinforcements.
- Reinforcement occurs every 20 seconds.
OCCUPY: [A] - ( B ) - [C]
- Each team has 1 destructible objective. 1 territorial objective begins neutral and is secured only while one player or more is inside the zone.
- The team that controls the middle objective gains 1 reinforcement every 10 seconds to a maximum of 15 reinforcements total from the objective.
- Both teams begin with 3 reinforcement waves.
- Reinforcement occurs every 20 seconds.
- When a team’s objective is destroyed, they lose all remaining reinforcements.
BATTLE: [A] <- <B> - ( C ) - <D> -> [E]
- 3 territorial objectives; middle begins neutral.
- The team that secures the middle objective moves their spawn location forward.
- Once the three territorial objectives are controlled by a team, this unlocks the ability for team who secured middle to destroy enemy’s cache as the final objective.
- Both teams begin with 15 reinforcements.
- Middle objective is worth 6 reinforcements.
- Two other territorial objectives worth 3 reinforcements.
- Reinforcement occurs every 20 seconds.
PUSH: (SEC) -> <A> -> <B> -> <C> -> [D]
- 3 territorial objectives; the final objective is destructible.
- One team starts with all objectives and cannot recapture when lost.
- Control of the middle objective determines which team has the forward spawn location.
- Objectives must be secured in sequential order.
- Both teams are able to attack or defend in reverse order. Losing team becomes the attacker after each round.
- Both teams begin with 15 reinforcements. Each objective is worth 3 reinforcements for the attacking team.
- When an objective is lost, the defenders receive bonus reinforcement.
- Reinforcement time for attackers is 20 seconds. Reinforcement time for defenders is 30 seconds.
It is important to establish the default gameplay configurations and separate any deviations from those variables in the server browser. The user’s selection will open the server browser with the appropriate servers displayed that provide the experience they are looking for. From the server browser, they can enable/disable tags and options to view all other available servers.
When the player clicks on Play in the main menu, they should be shown multiple options to search for servers.
“Choose your gameplay style:”
[ON/OFF] Realism (applies for any selection above)
Tactical is the default gameplay configurations.
Custom is any servers that have modified the gameplay configurations. They may do so in order to enable unlimited respawn or tweak other variables to their liking.
Realism is defined by a set of server variables to promote a more ‘realistic’ style experience. This includes friendly fire (ON), kill confirmation (OFF), kill cam (OFF), friendly player indication (LIMITED). It is important to keep this separate, as either style can be played with any gameplay configuration. Any difference from the above variables will classify the server as not Realism.
What is the role of Insurgency in the FPS genre?
We appeal to the hardcore/tactical/realism crowd, yet do not want to alienate casual players as well. The gameplay spectrum that caters those needs can be viewed as:
ONE LIFE ______________UNLIMITED RESPAWN
Insurgency needs to be designed to meet in the middle. Much of the appeal of the mod that people have been demanding is the balance between valuing your in-game life and prolonging the gameplay experience. The original mod was designed to tie objectives into the overall survival of the team through reinforcement waves.
Over time however, this became modified to simply sustain a combat binge through the entire round. This resulted in games being inconclusive by the time the clock ran out. There was no finality to measure the performance by a team over the duration of the game. In essence, it stripped away any advantage that skilled teams could gain during the match, subverting the overall experience to the quick-fix of providing sustained combat.
We need to provide an alternative to the mainstream gaming experience. This does not mean we are alienating a broader audience. The broader audience will be attracted to and play the game knowing that the experience is different from what they already find in other games.
The essence of Insurgency’s tactical combat is both teams starting with limited reinforcement and the fight for objectives determine the course of the game. In games that have no initial reinforcement, the first contact over an objective is like flipping a coin, but instead of luck, the result is determined by skill. This result will provide an initial advantage for the successful team. The middle of the match offers each team opportunities to sustain or regain the momentum.
People are quicker to dismiss a game based upon its similarity to others, and quicker to adopt it for its unique experience. Each player’s experience is different and the game’s design cannot adapt to meet each individual’s needs or desires. The player needs to adapt and learn how to develop a play style that suits the game.
Simplicity in rules is essential to learn, enjoy, and master the game over time.