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Tech Trees, 9.6.08

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Meedily meedily meeeeeee! Meedily wins! We’re looking at tech trees to-day, and different ways to do ’em. Generally speaking, tech trees are used in empire building games of any genre and 4X sci fi games(eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate). Where appropriate, I’ll do my best to list other examples, as well.

-Static Order. Tech progresses in a static fashion. This kind of tech tree is always the same, with the same progression every time. This creates a sort of ‘race’ to the best tech. An example of this could be a racing game where you can upgrade your car by driving over power-ups. Each stage of level up is the same for every player, and provides the same benefit. A track on the player boards would be the best way to track this kind of tech tree.

-Player’s Choice. Tech progresses in whatever way the player chooses. This is the most free form of tech tree; every tech is ‘equal’, more or less, with no requirements to move from one tech to another. An example of this would be a castle building game where every upgrade can be gotten once, be it a great hall to hold more people, or an armory to better arm your conscripts. The only thing that would dictate what tech you choose is your strategy. A deck of
cards containing the tech for each player is the best way to track this kind of tech tree. Or, have one deck of tech, period. If someone takes a particular upgrade before you, tough luck, pal…

-Tiered Player’s Choice. Tech progresses in whatever way the player chooses, provided prerequisite tech is already posessed. A more complex version of the previous example. Would allow for multiple aquisitions of the same tech to greater effect each time; or not all tech is created equal and you must invest the resources and prerequisite upgrades to make the best ones available. Say in a futuristic delivery game, to get the best engine for your delivery ship, first you must upgrade your hull size multiple times. Next, you need to upgrade your fuel type a time or two. Finally, you get the best engine in the game and tear up the board in a single move.

I’d post more, but I haven’t researched more paragraphs yet.
Keep on designing, yo!

Phil

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Written by krinklechip

August 18, 2009 at 1:35 am

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