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#1
Argyll

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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.

 

VICTORY CONDITIONS:

 

All game modes require the same victory conditions:

 

- Complete all objectives (Territorial and/or Destructible)
- Eliminate all enemy

 

OBJECTIVE CONDITIONS:

 

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.

 

Territorial:
- 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.

 

Destructible:
- 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.

 

REINFORCEMENT CONDITIONS:

 

Reinforcement Waves:
- 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.

 

Bonus Reinforcement:
- 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.
_____

 

 

MULTIPLAYER MENU:

 

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:”

 

Tactical Servers
Custom Servers

 

[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
(Hardcore)                                    (Casual)
    
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.


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"The clever combatant looks to the effect of combined energy, and does not require too much from individuals." - Sun Tzu


#2
Vulcan200x

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Sounds good to me.



#3
iLag

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I like it.  No seriously, I like this.  Usually I can find things to complain about, but here I just can't.  Good job.


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#4
Dude

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Too many options, too many modes, too many, only players not that much. Will be problem. Can you imagine, how hard will be find players on server, when will be 10 or more maps, and custom/tactical servers with game scenarios???? I see here dozens of options and many empty servers. 


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#5
Argyll

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I should note, that I don't believe all game modes will work on all maps. The smaller levels could likely only handle the Firefight and Occupy modes. Possibly the Skirmish as well.

 

Larger maps would be designed for Battle and Push, but also could likely handle the other modes too.


 

"The clever combatant looks to the effect of combined energy, and does not require too much from individuals." - Sun Tzu


#6
StickMan

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I like it very much, it creates variety, maybe not all maps can support the various modes, but one thing at a time.

 

only one fast observation

in Push if the defending team can't recapture, why not make it  destructible objectives like the last one so when they are gone they are gone for good or a capture / destroy objective .

 

good work Argyll ;)


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#7
Hardcell

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what exactly does destructible entail?


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#8
Jihad

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I love it dude.  I liked it at % and someone remaining in the area or it returns to neutral.

 

 

Too many options, too many modes, too many, only players not that much. Will be problem. Can you imagine, how hard will be find players on server, when will be 10 or more maps, and custom/tactical servers with game scenarios???? I see here dozens of options and many empty servers. 

It's not all that different than what we have now except for the addition of skirmish.


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#9
junkz

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I like it.

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#10
Xorr

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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.

  • The number of objectives should not be limited, e.g. the custom map Headquarter has 5. Why not have more?
  • I like the spawn location method of the Mod. After capturing an objective both team are getting new spawn locations.
  • If the defenders receive reinforcements for loosing an objective, they could let objectives go to gain reinforcement waves and only defend the last one, maybe because it is the easiest to defend...? I think in the Mod the Insurgents had unlimited reinforcements. I would keep it that way.
  • Defenders should be able to block objectives, but if there are more attackers than defenders the blocking should go off. Sometimes a defender simply camps in a corner, defended form distance by snipers or RPGs. If the attackers achieve a superior number of players in the capturing zone they should benefit from that.
  • The more attackers are on a objective the faster the capturing should go.
  • If the attackers die during capturing - e.g. at 50% - the objective should not automatically recapture to 0%. Defenders must enter the capture zone to bring it back to 0%. It should not be enough to simply clean out the capture zone from distance by sniper or RPG.
    We had a player in our clan who always played Sinjar. After round start, he waited at the end of the double wall until the HUD told him that the capturing of A had started, then he was skilled enough to clear the objective from behind the dust curtain by RPG. He did it to archive a great k/d and a high rank on the server-player-ranking-chart. That annoys the people and makes them leave the game.
  • An overhead map is necessary, IMHO not only for Push.


#11
Argyll

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Thanks for the suggestions Xorr. When we create rules, they need to apply to all the game modes instead of providing exceptions for edge cases in certain modes. For example, 'the more attackers on an objective results in faster capturing' is a good suggestion and would apply to every objective, not just attackers in Push.

 

Unlimited reinforcements will not be official gameplay values. They will be possible if they are tweaked and then servers where that is being played will appear as a Custom Server in the browser. However, unlimited reinforcement just doesn't fit the victory conditions and game style of what we should convey. I know the mod did it and I know that led to some problems with the mod's gameplay -- such as spawn killing, which it again has done in the game; and inconclusive matches that only end when the timer runs out. I don't even want a timer. 

 

We need to set the example for what the 'ideal' experience in our mind is. This does not mean it will be ideal for everyone, but that's why we maintain the ability for servers to tweak settings. I feel it is very important to be the tactical and realistic shooter that people are expecting because they cannot experience that gameplay anywhere else. That is also why Occupy has changed significantly. It's only Occupy in name and resembles nothing of the Domination mode it is now.

 

This doesn't mean matches will always end by elimination either. With the collection of reinforcement waves by objective, this prolongs the gameplay. If teams start out with very little or no reinforcement, they will feel the urgency to secure the objectives to prolong their fight and deny the enemy of their reinforcements. It is typical that objectives exchange between teams multiple times during a round. 

 

I like to think of reinforcements as currency. Sure, we could have unlimited, but in that case people will value and spend their life as carefully as a multi-billion dollar inheritance. Having limited reinforcements is a little like being in the working class, where you value every dollar and realize that you should be striving for the surplus and not just trying to get by day to day. Completing objectives is investment in your team.


 

"The clever combatant looks to the effect of combined energy, and does not require too much from individuals." - Sun Tzu


#12
Sucellus

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You should remove all the numbers regarding spawning - timer and number of waves - and make it map-dependent. 

 

Xorr made a good point about maps containing different numbers of objectives.

 

I think by 'inconclusive' you must mean that defenders on push maps won (timer ran out). But the problem with those weren't the spawns, but the map design. I don't mind giving the defenders limited reinforcements, though I do kind of worry about promoting camping, as it will mean it's all about your K:D if it comes out like it sounds. Why push objectives if the enemy is going to be reinforced? Just sit back with your sniper rifle all round. And spawn camping will be more important than capping. You'd be better off starting them high and have lost objectives remove waves - an incentive to consider objectives for both sides. And doesn't have attackers winning a push map before the first objective.

 

Firefight first cap needs to be delayed or be called in.

 

Spawn killing is a map design issue. I've seen it plenty in the current firefight, and it will only get worse as more people start playing.

 

Saying you're taking a 'middle-ground' between hardcore and casual is going to make people just think they need to get another game which is uncompromising to their values. Poor marketing. You're probably best off avoiding those terms altogether in official writing. Telling people they need to adapt to your game isn't the best marketing either. Tell them how to adapt, not that they need to.

 

Consider Gnalavllav's suggestion regarding removing the normal/hardcore terms. I think these terms have divided the community in other games and would just like to see INS, whole, but with multiple feasible options for everyone.



#13
Argyll

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We need some numbers to start with. I mentioned it's all subject to change according to how it playtests.

 

By inconclusive matches, I mean for example in Baghdad where you fight for fifteen minutes and maybe one side just secured Charlie at the last minute and the match ends. I want one team to definitively control the environment (as represented by objectives) or destroy their opponent. I don't want a timer to end or points reach a predetermined limit.

 

Camping at its very core is a defensive maneuver. Push will always encourage camping since one team is poised to defend. As the attacker, I would rather have my enemy sitting in a defensive position than rushing and locking us in the spawn exits. The psychology of having more reinforcements means people will value their life less. The modes are designed to start out on the brink of having none and encouraging playing for the objectives to hopefully stem the loss of reinforcement.

 

Yes, spawn camping still happens in Firefight, however without the recurring respawns at predictable intervals, it is mitigated. 

 

I say we establish ourselves in the middle ground, but it's further towards the realism side than casual side. No matter what we say, people will dispute it according to their own subjective interpretations of the terms. I agree that we need to set a definitive experience. However, inevitably people will tweak with the variables to make things more or less realistic. Having the realism mode sets up a consistent expectation for certain elements that are not affecting the core gameplay - but merely the display of information that will influence player behavior.

 

So really it's about setting up players to find the consistent expectation that we have set for our gameplay and then knowingly finding deviations from that to their liking. This document wasn't created without a lot of thought and consideration for the other options. It started out with two modes overall, with different game types for each. It has evolved over time to reach within a spectrum that fits two gameplay styles according to win conditions (territorial and destructible) in both quick and prolonged matches in small or large environments.


 

"The clever combatant looks to the effect of combined energy, and does not require too much from individuals." - Sun Tzu


#14
Sucellus

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predictable intervals

 

 

 

There's a 'go camp now' HUD message. Right down to 'wait for it... prime... throw nade now!'

 

Baghdad is a one off, but it was consistently voted at or near top of favourite map polls, but I wouldn't argue any changes. Anyway, the important thing here is both teams increasing reo's makes the cap irrelevant (even if you shift the actual numbers). I prefer the start unequal then removing for one side, adding the other. Makes it unequivocally important to cap and defend. This being for PUSH.

 

Also, it looks like battle is on a timer, too. Cap mid then camp until the enemy runs out of reo's, because you've got an extra 2min's on your clock. Again, probably fixed with a SL-type style, who can call them in or spawn on team-down if he's taken out.

 

Oh, and the team switch thing as written is very odd. Equal number of rounds would be better. 

 

And I want to be able to attack on PUSH as insurgents. That was awesome on Almaden. I loved that map with roles reversed. Maybe you can, but it's not very clear. Actually, I'm not sure about that line at all:

 

"- Both teams are able to attack or defend in reverse order. Losing team becomes the attacker after each round."

 

So Sec/Ins can both attack on a push map? As in role-reversal, just swap sec/ins? If Sec over-run Ins, is the map then played the opposite direction with Ins attacking? That'd certainly be interesting...



#15
Snuffeldjuret

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I like the general concepts. I am a little worried though as I am "allergic" to when the rounds are prolonged by last lone campers/AFKers and when both teams best tactic is to camp and hope for the enemy to not have the patience or will to camp.

 

One can speculate that perhaps it should be calculated as actual spawns instead of waves, which additionally could if desired make you go back to individual spawn (but does not have to).

 

I don't think hardcore vs casual is about how many spawns there are in a round. In this area I think it is about how long it takes for you to spawn again once you die. A 1-life game mode with a 1 min round timer seems more casual to me as a concept than an unlimited-life game mode with 2 min spawn time and a 15 min round timer.


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