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Command & Conquer × StarCraft
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Vehicle Driver

Joined: 17 Jun 2023

PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2023 6:46 pm    Post subject:  Command & Conquer × StarCraft
Subject description: Proposal for a team project
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I have had this idea of creating an implementation of StarCraft in the C&C engine. The two are venerables of the RTS genre, from roughly the same period (at least the ts base engine is from the same period as sc), both are 2D sprite games, etc etc etc.

I think with Ares, and now Phobos, this has largely become possible to re-create sc in ra2/yr, but I'd prefer not to do this alone. Does anyone want to join in a sort of team?

The project would consist of three parts:
a) an implementation/approximation of the game mechanics. I want to enhance the content from each game by adding content from the other, e.g. SC does not have Survivor mechanics, crashing aircraft, crushing, much more limited locomotors, etc., which it could "learn" from C&C. Conversely, C&C doesn't have unit energy, supply limits, etc. I'm not for treating those mechanics as features of the units themselves, but to treat them as features of the engine in which they originated, and when implemented in C&C, the SC units could be enhanced with those mechanics. I realize that some SC mechanics are just too fundamentally different from the way C&C works to ever be implemented without a massive exe reboot that equals re-creating an engine from scratch, e.g. unit pathfinding, unit sizes, the way the AI works, the way area-of-effect is calculated, "casting" (the use of special abilities), and multiple resources. We will try to approximate.

b) an implementation of the factions, units, artwork, as far as possible without legally problematic activity. Possibly with modification to accomodate c).

c) a consistent setting and story that ties the two together in a way beyond the clunky and cringy fanfic staple of "ROB opens a portal between the two universes". My ideal would be a write-up in which they are both part of the same fictional universe in some way, but I'm open to interfaces that treat this as a sort of multiversal thing.

I'm personally not too keen on implementing a campaign (which would seem like a multi-year project), but if anyone wants to implement this in the context of the mod, they would certainly have my blessings for it.

I'm a working adult, so the time I could dedicate to this project is limited; this project would be a sort of long-term "adult hobby", at least on my part.  

There is a five-figure budget for further necessary engine tweaks and artwork. I think the ra2/yr engine is the obvious choice due to aforementioned similarities, but if anyone feels that OpenRA, or even the Generals or TW machinery would work better for this project, I'd be open to this as well.

Anyone interested?

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Vehicle Driver

Joined: 17 Jun 2023

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2024 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I've started mapping out the Terran units.

Here are some placeholder first implementations, of the Goliath and the Vulture:

The Goliath sprite (by t4w2, taken from SC) really looks atrocious in C&C. Maybe a VXL would be a better choice. The Goliath's name will be changed (uncertain to what yet), I find the use of an individual Biblical character's name unfitting, especially next to the C&C mech names. It has dual autocannons and dual missile launchers. Unlike in SC, it will use its autocannons against ground targets and organic targets, and both its guns and its missiles against air-non-organic.

The Vulture is a hover unit; this is consistent with SC lore. This also allows the Vulture to cross water in C&C, which we never see it do in SC; however, this apparent contradiction is sufficiently explained by all land-water boundaries in SC being cliffs, which a hover unit cannot cross in C&C either. In this way, the unit can be a hover unit (consistent with SC lore) with the ability to cross water that results from this in C&C, without contradicting what we see in SC gameplay.
It has a grenade launcher and will have the ability to deploy Spider Mines via "Deploy" command, of which it will carry a limited number. Unlike in SC, there will be the capacity to recharge expended Spider Mines (at the Service Depot most likely).

Here is the first implementation of the Battlecruiser:

I will change this unit's name from "Behemoth" (in SC) to "Bahamut"; Behemoth, in the Bible and modern fantasy, is the epitome of a terrestrial beast (in the Bible, Leviathan being the epitome of sea monsters, and Ziz the epitome of avians). "Bahamut" is etymologically related to "Behemoth", but, in Arabic mythology, is a giant, cosmic fish. This seems to fit a spaceship better than naming it after a land animal, while retaining both an etymological and phonetic connection to the original name.

I've implemented these in TS, but eventually transfer to YR/Ares/Phobos will be inevitable to realize the best approximation of SC's mechanics.

The Bahamut, like all SC flyers except the Interceptor, will be implemented as a JumpJet vehicle. It has lasers that can be used against both ground and air targets. It will have a deploy-convert to switch to its Yamato Cannon (this will be called "Nova Cannon"), which consumes limited, slowly recharging, ammo (thus modelling SC's Energy).

The SC unit roster is quite limited, including Brood War units, I am missing the Marine, Firebat, Medic, Ghost, Siege Tank, Science Vessel, Dropship.

Calculating HitPoints and Damage
There are no items or units in SC1 that are outright materially equivalent to anything in C&C. There are "civilians" in both games, but the "civilians" of SC1 have the same HP are Marines! They also wear some sort of body armor, which can be an explanation for this circumstance. They are not materially equivalent to the civilians, unarmored, of C&C.

Fortunately, we have unarmored civilians in SC2, which takes place in the same universe as SC1. In that game, they have HP 30, while Marines have 45 HP.

An unarmored civilian in the metric of SC2 thus has HP 30, while in the metric of TS, he or she would have HP 50.

In order to derive anything about the HP of SC1 units, however, we would need to establish some item or unit that is materially continous between SC1 and SC2, and whether SC1 and SC2 apply the same, or a different, metric of what HP represent.

Unfortunately, all sorts of things are on the move - Marines in SC2 have a different model of body armor, and an additional shield, not present in SC1, said to increase their HP. It is thus not possible to say whether, and to what extent, the HP 45 of Marines in SC2 is materially equivalent to the HP 40 of Marines in SC1.

Fortunately, there is one piece of technology that is a fixed point between the games; this is the C-14 rifle, used by Marines both in SC and SC2. Whatever damage value it has, should thus in each game represent the same amount of damage output. The C-14 inflicts 6 pts of damage in both SC and SC2. Thus, the HP/dmg metric of SC2 is the same as of SC1, and different HP of Marines and Civilians can be attributed to material differences (better armor, shield).

I will make one assumption here: that the ratio of HP of unarmored civilians in SC, to the C-14's damage, does not represent weapon accuracy to a different degree than the ratio of HP of unarmored civilians in TS, to the damage caused by small arms fire - i.e. that they both represent the same ratio of hits/misses.

Thus, an entity that has HP x in SC1 would also have HP x in SC2, thus we can transfer HP and damage from SC1 to TS at the same conversion rate as from SC2 to TS.

If unarmored civilians thus have HP 30 in SC2, and would have HP 50 in TS, the conversion factor between HP_sc and HP_ts is 3:5 - SC HP are "worth more".

This does not make for a good decimal, however. I will thus have to change the metric; I will do this by multiplying all HP and damage by 3 (thus keeping their ratios intact), which means that a civilian would have 90 HP in sc, 150 HP in ts.

A Marine would have 120 HP in sc, 200 HP in ts. This vis-a-vis 360 HP of TS' Light Infantry, however, so clearly a straight calculation like has a result that is paradoxical to what we would assume about how these units compare materially.

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Vehicle Driver

Joined: 17 Jun 2023

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2024 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

First implementation of the Ghost, with direct-from-SC sprite:

The Ghost will regulary use the canister gun, and will have a deploy stance in which he will be using the nuclear missile "flare" when targeting buildings, and the "stopper" shot when targeting vehicles/aircraft. I think this encompasses all the abilities that this unit has in SC. The energy-limited cloaking function of SC cannot be re-created.

For infantry, I'm missing the Firebat, and Medic. The Marine was implemented, but looks so horrible that I do not think there is much value in showing it off here.

I am not sure how the SCV will be implemented - as an infantry, or a vehicle. Lore-wise, the SCV flies at low altitude (this is visible on the unit sprite in SC), and I have tested the Hover locomotor on infantry to model this in C&C. Hover locomotor does work on infantry, but it appears to be impossible to such infantry to move across water.

Evidently, SCVs will have limited function in C&C; they cannot construct buildings, one of the main function these units have in SC. This cannot be re-created. What can be re-created is their function as resource gatherers and repairers. I think for resource-gathering in particular, and also considering how huge these devices are in the lore, it makes most sense to implement them as vehicles.

Because they do not really resemble MCVs in design and function, I do not want to keep them named "SCV". They will probably be named something involving "Builder" or "Work" and "Gear" or "Rig", plus a Suggestivname.

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