Tag Archives: strategy

Play-by-Air Gaming

A long time ago in a DOS-based world far, far away, there were Play-by-Mail games.

I was involved in one called Galactic Anarchy, run by a friend and  business colleague, as a tester and (of all things) cartoonist.  The concept was simple: a turn-based space conquest game played over snail mail (and later also email) populated by several character types (“races”), filled with interesting artifacts and of course founded on certain rules.  Players examined the status of their fleets and owned worlds, and then issued commands to move, attack, defend and anything else the command set supported. Continue reading

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First Person Teaming: The Best Defense

Last time I covered mobilization strategies and explained how flexibility and cooperation will enable the success of a team.  Now we’ll get into the old argument of Offense vs Defense and demonstrate the superior importance of the former.

Distilling gaming principles into simple terms can often be disingenuous, but this one tenet always holds true: offense wins games.  Defense, on the other hand, can only secure an already sure win.

The typical multiplayer game has one or more goal types, among them capturing objectives, amassing resources or slaying opponents.  The one element in common is that aggression is required to achieve these and similar goals.  Passivley sniping from remote locations is a strategy that resides in the middle of offensive and defensive postures but as long as the target accomplishment of racking up virtual kills is being met, players are obviously aggressively pursuing enemies through their scope.

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First Person Teaming: Mobilization Strategies

In the last segment of this series I stressed the importance of observation and communication for effective teaming in multiplayer games.  In summary, paying attention to game events and making sure teammates are aware of them is crucial to robust defenses and offenses.  Now we will get into some more practical applications.

One area where these actions are critical is in ensuring that team members fall into specific roles with little or no overlap.  The successful team employs a variety of skills and aptitudes so that every aspect of play is covered.  Aggregating into a small number of similar roles significantly reduces the ability of a team to address novelties introduced by the opposition.

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First Person Teaming: Observation and Communication

This is Part 2 in the First Person Teaming series.

In the Introduction to this series I outlined the general purpose and goals I have in mind and indicated I would begin with this subject: Observation and Communication (I reversed the order from the Intro for logical purposes).

The reason to start here is simple: without effective employment of those skills, you don’t and can’t have teaming in multiplayer games… especially in a virtual environment where real-world physical contextual cues are completely missing.  Oddly enough, implementing these skills is simple too, but for reasons that escape me their proper use is rare in my experience.  I’d hazard to guess that in the First-Person Shooter (FPS) games I play no more than twenty percent of the players truly get the concepts we’re going to cover today.  So let’s improve that, shall we?

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