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What I have always wanted to see is really big armies from top down.

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Level 10 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Posted on December 3, 2009 at 6:12 am

Have you ever seen artists impressions of what a full army would look like looking down at them from the sky. It looks incredible.
What I would like to see in hegemony is smaller ant like formations that use real numbers. The whole army being able to choose a custom or traditional formation. Allowing you to move the army in formation or make them travel on roads.

Exactly the same thing for the sea going fleets. Salamis sized any fleets and patrols. Beachings for rest etc.

Make the men look well proportioned at any cost...

Make everything the actual scale of the towns and villages in screenshots.

Level 10 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Posted on December 6, 2009 at 3:17 am

Here are some examples of what I mean. The landscape is alive with large formations of antlike figures.
It would differentiate the game from all of the other games and breath a nice breathtaking top down view of massive numbers.
It would also fit the scale of the buildings and towns. The figures you would be able to zoom in a little, just enough to see that its humans fighting with whatever weapons they are armed with. Phalanx stabbing back and forth. bits of movement as seen in Battlefield Britain.

Its not like total war as the formations are large, self contained and move about the campaign map. It is possible in this way to setup a real acting battle. Something that looks nice without being a resource hog.
From a programming perspective the formation would be animated as one figure, and would run as a unit. the animation offcourse would lose men and get smaller as it got pounded.
You could be as complex as you liked with the formation being pushed back or infiltrated. To let the player know it may be time to retreat or that re-enforcements are needed.
The marching animation would also be lots of small blocks of men moving. It would look cool and lend the game a more polished look as the graphics for something like that would not have to be many polys?

Level 22 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Toronto
Posted on December 7, 2009 at 5:56 am

Me too! But, during the development of Hegemony, my opinion has least for now.

I started our wanting to represent armies as close to a 1:1 ratio as was possible, but we final settled on approximately a 50:1 ratio for infantry/cavalry for various reasons: the flexibility to zoom in close for detail shots and making the units oversize (50 meters tall) for ease of viewing, were the main ones.

These two old screen shots show a formation of hoplites winding their way through a mountain pass. As you can see, they are hard to see, even at a 50:1 ratio and 50meters tall. In the more distant view, it's especially hard to see what's going on. The other effect of vertical distance is that the height of landforms is hard to make out. (The mountain tops have snow on top.) And if I hadn't altered the terrain to allow the passage of the caricatured (oversize) troops, then mountain passes would be sliver-thin and all but invisible.

Now, in defense of the 1:1 idea, these shots represent an extreme that we experimented with and are the main reason that, when zoomed out, we transition to a "parchment style" 2D view with plastic look miniatures. A 1:1 ratio is probably doable in a battlefield/battleboard game with less distant views, but, we were after the continuous ebb and flow of strategy, where you spend more time maneuvering and mopping up after, than in actual battle....and all in the same scale and on the same massive, continuous map.

It's always a trade off and I think that we've maintained a semblance of that feeling that you and I are both after as exemplified in the other two "old" screen shots that show battle field maneuvers and phalangites camping.

The trick is to create the thrill of immersion, while maintaining an ease of identification and flexible control over units. Our goal is to make a good, playable game that accurately reflects history. The audience will soon be able to tell us if we've succeeded or not as Hegemony will have enough of a demo mode to make it a solid try-before-you-buy wargame. Release date: early in the New Year.

Level 14 Extraplanar Programmer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Toronto
Posted on December 7, 2009 at 5:42 pm

One other reason we went with the 50:1 scale is because otherwise it would either take a really long time for the troops to march anywhere, or they would look funny as they march across Greece in fast-forward.

I do like the idea of a 1:1 strategy game, and we've had lots of discussions about potential game designs that would work for game like that, but for Hegemony we found that it worked better when the size of the units was exaggerated.

Level 10 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Posted on December 8, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Is there somewhere in the game that I can turn this feature on?
That screenshot of the small men looks great! You just fix the hard to see bit with a floating icon.
The ant look makes it more epic and less abstract.

I understand the reasons you state, but thats every other game for you aswell. Assume users cannot handle the pace. I fear that this game will be so like most others that it
will fade into obscurity..... not being negative, just one mans opinion ;)

I actually like the game, just having trouble with the suspension of disbelief at the tactical level when zoomed. It could look so epic and in fact you have proved this.
Options like strength and honor 2 have for formations would be nice too... just have not played enough to see how large battles get and how much troop variety there is.
If you go the non collecting units route then you need to have very very interesting gameplay.

I will play some more and grab some screenies when time permits. Glad I can post on other forums to raise general awareness. I just have to be really keen on the game first.
The smaller units option will hopefully just be some sort of switch.