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 Forum index » Featured Projects » Dawn of the Tiberium Age
Civilians and War
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Einhander
Cyborg Soldier


Joined: 17 Apr 2014

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:50 pm    Post subject:  Civilians and War
Subject description: What is your take on civilians?
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Hello and good morning everyone,
Today I would very much like to discuss civilians in DTA and their roles in which they fill in the game.

In the past through other C&C titles we have seen civilians in the following roles:
Activists
Revolutionaries
Insurgents
Militia
Unarmed individuals trying to survive a war (Typically in a small village)
Support oriented assistants
Rioters
Lab rats
Refugees
Spys
Something to protect
Cyborg fodder

I'm sure I missed some roles they have filled, however my point is that I would like to figure out in what ways do players think civilians can be useful or a down right burden. Personally I'm not a fan of having to protect a group of unarmed useless individuals, but if we can identify ways in which a typically unwanted scenario can be structured in such a way to benefit the player we may encounter something interesting.

The reason I bring this up is because I'm trying to find innovative ways to use civilians in DTA scenarios. Bear in mind I'm not talking about the random civilians we all encounter in skirmish maps. I'm talking about using them in a campaign effectively.

While I understand the aesthetics of civilians populating areas of maps, I'm not a fan of just plopping them into a scenario and having them do nothing. Imagine how weird it is that civilians don't react at all to the massive war exploding around them.

What I want to do is determine ways in which I can make civilians more, well human to the events unfolding around them.

If you have ideas please feel free to post them here, or if you would like to dive deeper into a specific role or a new one you thought of please feel free to relay your thoughts.

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UNSC THE CHILL OF WAR
Medic


Joined: 15 Nov 2017

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This might be a minor idea but cell tags could be used, so that when an invading army is approaching, all the civilians run away to a safe location. Or there could be gdi guarding a train, and escorting civilians onto the train for safety.

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Einhander
Cyborg Soldier


Joined: 17 Apr 2014

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your input UNSC, a refugee perspective is indeed viable. Having civilians relocate, or flee the area is indeed a great idea.

Here is a question for anyone though, what should civilians do if they don't want to flee? If they did something how would they go about it?

Would they jury rig a vehicle with a weapon, arm up, try to build defenses? I'm looking for a fairly realistic approach to conflict. While I am a veteran I fear my perspective is biased.

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TAK02
Commander


Joined: 28 Jun 2015
Location: It was Damascus.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chk World in Conflict: Soviet Assault. The cutscenes.
That's where we learn even civies like to arm up and defend themselves if necessary.

That, and the Arabic Spring in Syria might drop a hint or two about that. I think.
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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apart from small tasks like activating a cell tag, running to a safe place, enter buildings etc, i wouldn't change civilians too much.

The graphics are not changed if you give something a weapon and ingame you have no way to tell if a civilian is armed and if yes with which weapon.
It's unbalanced and not really fun when you suddenly lose all your units to a random civilian infantry or car standing around in a village, which happens to be equipped with a cannon or mg.

The only 2 civilians which could be armed are the yellow and red "technicians" which always had a tiny pistol and which could be changed into something more powerful like an MG.
From these civilians the player is used to see them armed, but not from other unarmed civil assets.

If buildings would support garrison graphics i would suggest giving a building a weapon, but this isn't possible either.
Except you want to take the original SHP and draw some garrison graphic on it (sandbags, MG nests etc), so Bittah can add a second armed version of this building.
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Einhander
Cyborg Soldier


Joined: 17 Apr 2014

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great input LKO,
I'm not entirely sure I want to go with a civilian armed response. However I am indeed curious about it.

If I did implement something such as this, I would actually just have the civilians go to a specific area on the map, get deleted, then replaced with an equal amount of militia "Mini-gunners" or existing unit types. I agree that blind siding a player with "suddenly the civilians have nukes" approach is unwise. Therefore I think that at least changing the units to something that can be identified as a threat would be the best approach.

I'm not sure what you mean about the armed building. First you say it is not possible then it is? I like the direction you are exploring, and "fortified" civilian structures would indeed by eye candy. However I think there may be "cheaper" approaches to this. Such as the use of current defensive buildings. Granted they won't exactly "fit"; it would be less work.

Also if this was implemented it would have to be telegraphed to the player in a reasonable way. While not a difficult action, it would require the player either to sit through a scripted sequence or discover it in a non harmful way.

If Bittah weighs in on this and is interested, I would be happy to assist, and possibly implement such an idea into my project.

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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Einhander wrote:
I would actually just have the civilians go to a specific area on the map, get deleted, then replaced with an equal amount of militia "Mini-gunners" or existing unit types.

this would be very cool.
though to implement this right isn't that easy afaik.
e.g. you have 5 civilians and one gets killed on their way to the "armory". It would look bad if 5 mini gunners appear anyway and it could be also problematic to have the trigger fire at all if it counts till 5 units reached the target cell.
So in the end you might have to give each civilian its own trigger, which can become pretty quick a very huge trigger job. Not impossible but very error prone with so many triggers,teams,scripts and taskforces.

Einhander wrote:

I'm not sure what you mean about the armed building. First you say it is not possible then it is? I like the direction you are exploring, and "fortified" civilian structures would indeed by eye candy.

In RA2 you can let normal infantry enter a civil building, which then changes into the garrison graphic and the infantry shoot out of the building. This logic is not possible in the TS engine.
So the only way would be to give a normal civil building a weapon. But to make this convincing for the player, the graphic of the civil building should be changed into a garrisoned version, which needs editing of the SHP as there is no such graphic yet.
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Einhander
Cyborg Soldier


Joined: 17 Apr 2014

PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again for the input LKO.
Triggers in DTA/Final Sun are not that difficult. As they are actually very similar to the old Starcraft editor style of hgandling triggers.

If outlined well the triggers should be easy to generate, just time consuming. From my perspective when making something there is no such thing as wasted effort. (Unless of course the publisher screws you over Smile )

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Just a random dude.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"suddenly the civilians have nukes"

Well, there is a limitation on what type of equipment civilians would have. I doubt they'd have tanks or any type of real fighter aircraft.

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Einhander
Cyborg Soldier


Joined: 17 Apr 2014

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your input random dude, you are correct in that the civilians would indeed not have access to the more extreme version of military hardware. However one could see them with remedial weapons that would be common or typical of an area.

Consider a small village in a temperate map, chances are since they are a small village its geared towards agriculture. If they are indeed farmers that greatly increases the chance that at least one of them has a weapon.

Or what if the civilians in question are similar to the TS urbanites? They had entire armories dedicated towards arming a local militia. In that circumstance one could understand if the civilians in this case had weaponry or equipment equivalent to a tech level 1-2 faction.

The only time I can see civilians using more destructive hardware is if they are a resistance group or there is a direct reason based on the narrative or context of the map for them to have it.

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