Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Magnum Opus

I've been a bit quiet on the blogging front lately, but there's a good reason: I've been working on my latest project, and I'm pretty excited about it.

In a nutshell, it's Laser Squad Nemesis with Laser Squad Mechanics (i.e. properly turn-based rather than We-Go). I hope no-one groans at that, wondering why I'm just copying another game. In my defence, AFAIK there is no open-source equivalent (or even closed-source). The main reason I'm doing it is because my most enjoyable gaming session was playing Laser Squad all day against one of my friends. It's a brilliant game, and never gets boring against a human opponent.

It should be noted that I've never actually played LSN; the only aspect I am copying is the fact that you can request games and play them against other people, while a server keeps track of it all. In addition, it's going to be a 3D applet (as the pre-alpha screenshot with the slightly broken z-order will testify) allowing the player to move their camera anywhere around the map.

So, it will come with it's own web front-end which will allow people to request/join games, take their turn, post messages, update halls of fame etc... Once a game has been accepted, players can equip and deploy their units and then take turns trying to fulfill their mission objectives. Needless to say, there will be several different kinds of missions, each with it's own special units like robots, aliens or plain old space marines (obtaining good 3D models notwithstanding).

This is a pretty ambitious project, incorporating a web server, 3D applets and networking, but if it will produce a game which allows me to play turn-based squad-level strategy games, then it's a task I'm looking forward to. And suggestions for a name for this game are more than welcome!


Charlie said...

Laser Tactics 2?

Steve said...

I was hoping for something a bit more imaginative! How about "Death Squad Rendezvous"?

Charlie said...

Laser Jam

Steve said...

I'm torn on that one. On one hand it makes it sound like a cartoon puzzle game, but on the other hand, the word "jam" can indicate the co-operative nature of the game (as in jamming).

Maybe I'm thinking about this too deeply!

tng said...

I'm a rebelstar/laser squad geek dating back to rebelstar raiders.
Have you seen UFO:AI - it's lasersquad in all but name, using a heavily modified quake II engine.

Steve said...

Yeah, I've seen that, and it's very professional looking and a great game. However, it's a bit too in-depth for my liking. If you've played Rebelstar or LS, you'll know the kind of simple setup that I'm looking for.

Ozzy said...

What a coincidence. I'm writing an Xcom/LSN roguelike and although I never played Lasersquad directly, I was addicted to LSN for a few years back when at it's high point. Loved Rebelstar Raiders and UFO. I'm not planning multiplayer though. I suggest getting the attention of the crowd still on the LSN forums. You'll get plenty of beta testers and gameplay advice from them. My project is at

Steve said...

That really is a co-incidence - when I started this, I was originally going to use ASCII graphics! However, I decided that 3D graphics would be easier and more pleasing.

So will you be writing an AI for it? I don't know if you've seen my Laser Tactics (basically another 3D Laser Squad) but I wrote an AI for that which could control either side of the first 3 Laser Squad missions. Let me know if I can impart any advice from my experiences.

Ozzy said...

Yeah I'm actually up to the AI bit just now, It's my final barrier to "get something playable as quick as possible" milestone. Since this is my first game written in 20 years and my first c++ program ever I tend to be caught in a never ending but enjoyable pastime of refactoring older code so progress is a bit slow.

I'll take a look at Laser Tactics, reading more source from better programmers is always good.