I realise that I should have spent a little more time fleshing out the gameplay on paper, maybe even putting numbers into spreadsheets to see how the equations work out. But I didn’t.
I’m currently in a game of Hearts of Iron 3 and I’ve realised a few things.
Firstly, there is a big variation in the action depending on which nation you play as. I’m playing Germany right now and it’s very intense; there is always something happening, always another part of one of your plans succeeding or being thwarted. I realise that this is a big draw, this is why you play as a major nation.
And then there’s the little guys. Play as Australia; there’s a very long build-up until your inevitable action against Japan. When playing as Australia every single division you create really counts; your research into technologies is a major investment; that Heavy Cruiser is the best your Navy can build?!
It feels as though the game I’m making will be very slow. Very slow.
That isn’t my intention; I don’t want there to be great swathes of time that the player just wants to skip right over. However; I do want to keep the timeline realistic, in which case there are going to very long periods of time in between knowing if something succeeded or not.
So there’s the problem. I always wanted to have societal events occurring all the time along with the advancement of technologies and the expansion of your civilisation.
This makes me think about the real-time game-play. I believe it will be a lot easier to make it turn based, especially for the size of the universe, real-time AI would need to be nerfed way too much for it to be effective.
So then I imagine the turns can proceed at varying time scales. This reminds me of the way Civilization games do it; with the early years passing a hundred years a turn and the later years only passing 1 or 2. I think I will aim for a real varying turn rate. Basically, it will proceed until the next “event” happens, and the player can pick and chose which stop the progress of time.
I think that can play into the theme a little. Perhaps you’re the elected ruler for forever, and you enter a sort of hibernation sleep until you’re awakened to make decisions.