lunes, 9 de mayo de 2011

The Board - Part I

A board is probably the corner stone of any strategy game and as such must be considered in the initial phase of the project. Let's try to enumerate the considerations we must comprise in order to sucessfully implement a board for the game:
  1. A board is a two dimensional matrix composed by rows and columns.
  2. The board must not have boundaries.
  3. Each unique combination of row and column is called a cell.
  4. A cell can hold different items: units, cities, resources, etc...
  5. A cell is surrounded by other cells with which it communicates.
  6. The board must be updated after every turn.
Let's try to ellaborate further on these topics so that we can get a clearer picture of what needs to be implemented.

  • A board as a two dimensions matrix
Basically what we are saying here is that the board of the game will have a set of cells arranged in rows and columns. Depending on the number of players the size of these two might differ. We will need to find the right proportions for the different number of players as well as for the resources we can count on for the development of the game. Taking into account that the total number of cells is the product of rows times columns, making either number too big will definitely have an impact on ammount of resources needed to calculate each turn.

  • The board must not have boundaries
The last cell of a row is followed by the first cell of the same row. The last cell of a specific column is followed by the first cell of the same specific column. The reason for this is to avoid having incommunicated spots that are apart from the rest of the board, making them unplayable for players that land on them.
  • Unique combination row and column = cell
This is basically a step forward from the previous definition. So we have a board that is divided into rows and columns, so that a cell can be expressed as an specific row and an expecific column. This also means that there are no two cells that are equal in the board (they can share the same attributes but they will still be account as different elements).

  • A cell can hold different items
As in every board game, cells are there so that we can put items on them. At this very moment I can think of units, resources and cities (this last one probably holds more than one cell). This means that a cell is a container for other objects of the game. At the moment this definition is good enough, but it will need more development in order to make the game interesting.

  • Cell communication.
A cell is communicated to the neighbor cells. This is important for things such as unit movement, resource harnessing or other related issues. It is also important to note that a cell is not isolated from other cells and events happening on neighbor cells might have a reaction on the cell.The board must be updated after every turn.
  • The board must be updated after every turn.
After each turn (or after the last player's turn), each cell of the board must be updated with the movements and changes that the game is producing. This leads us to the next element to be discussed and that will be the next article of this blog: the turn engine.

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