Apologies as I was super sleep deprived last night, so didn't have the cognitive ability to write up something to do the game justice. I've been working on Morse for around a month - So far I've got a flash build, a tablet build and a custom controller built.
Here's the breakdown of what I've got:
--- .-. .. --. .. -. ... ORIGINS --- .-. .. --. .. -. ...
Whilst running a collaborative workshop showing the capabilities of the Makey Makey, I got hold of some clothes pegs. After building a tiny piano, the idea of using pegs to build a morse controller sprung to mind.
I mulled over a couple of prototype routes on paper - Morse whispers (Chinese Whispers with Morse Code), Mastermorse (Mastermind with Morse), but decided to test the mechanic with a good old fashioned game of Battleships. After discovering that getting the player to input the position of their ships initially to be a tedious process, I chose instead to have the game spawn ships randomly and drift across the screen as moving targets. I originally settled on the name Dot Dot Splash (I LOVE MY PUNS), but I wanted to explore the possibilities further.
Looking into adding depth to the game, I used the First World War as the setting, which opened up the possibilities for air and land. The trenches leant themselves quite nicely to this kind of gameplay, as I can remember from Secondary School history lessons discussing how artillery would be fired in tactical formations for varied use (e.g. The Creeping Barrage
-.-. --- -. - .-. --- .-.. .-.. . .-. CONTROLLER -.-. --- -. - .-. --- .-.. .-.. . .-.
After testing the concept with Dot Dot Splash, I built a controller which consists of:
-- --- .-. ... . / - .-. .- -. ... -- .. - - . .-. MORSE TRANSMITTER -- --- .-. ... . / - .-. .- -. ... -- .. - - . .-.
Use this to input your commands - This is done using the drop down morse list in the bottom left hand corner of the screen, which requires a number and a letter to zero in on a target. It is possible to stack your attacks by planning your attack in advance further across the board, striking in multiple positions.
-... .. --. / .-. . -.. / -... ..- - - --- -. BIG RED BUTTON -... .. --. / .-. . -.. / -... ..- - - --- -.
Once you've inputted your commands, you can choose when to send the message using the big red button which will transmit the message to the artillery batteries and decimate whatever you've marked up. The default artillery shell will destroy anything within a 3 square radius, giving you a little leeway on mistakes. But be warned - this means your own units may be unintentionally caught in the blast.
... .-- .. - -.-. .... -... --- .- .-. -.. SWITCHBOARD ... .-- .. - -.-. .... -... --- .- .-. -..
Use this to change the battlefield you're sending commands through to by shifting the plug between the three sockets.
.-.. .- -. -.. / .- .. .-. / .- -. -.. / ... . .- LAND AIR AND SEA .-.. .- -. -.. / .- .. .-. / .- -. -.. / ... . .-
I was initially tempted to give the player the ability to directly control troops (select co-ordinate of unit then choose co-ordinates of attack location), but I'm keeping the scope limited for now to pure artillery based. Having said that, there's a lot I can do with this:
Morse is going to be broken up into 3 parts:
... . .- SEA ... . .-
Due to the nature of trench warfare, the frontline is constantly exhausted of resources. Protect your fleets and convoys as they cross the channel to deliver their precious cargo. For every ship you save, you receive a resource in the form of units. Depending on the type of ship and the position that it crosses, this effects how combat plays out. You can also keep track and control what ships the enemy receives by either wiping out everything they send or by selectively destroying specific ships (E.g. blowing up their shipments of machine guns before you launch an infantry attack).
.- .. .-. AIR .- .. .-.
The skies are your eyes in this conflict - By launching planes over no man's land to survey the enemy trenches, you can see what the Kaiser is up to. Planes must fully travel across and return in order to receive coordinates. Shoot down enemy pilots near your trenches to acquire additional information. Surveyed land will allow you to foresee assaults and stack your counterattacks ahead of time.
.-.. .- -. -.. LAND .-.. .- -. -..
This is where the majority of gameplay on the other two battlefield's have their impact. Bombard enemy trenches, pick off battalions on their path across no man's land and clear a path for your own squads. Different units that you've saved at sea will have different roles on the battlefield:
Machine Gunner: Static emplacement that kills targets in a radius around their position.
Infantry: Your pushing force - Get these men safely through no man's land and overthrow the opposing trench. Will shoot a ranged shot if standing still and will kill hand to hand if in range.
(More planned - Sniper, Medic, Officer, Grenadier etc.)
In the game's the current state, it only takes one soldier successfully crossing the trenches to claim victory, but I'm hoping to have a variety of battlefields of different scale. The likely approach would be when you've cleared out a trench, you'll populate the captured trench with your units from the previous battle and the enemy fallback trench would be the next objective. Then based on how you did, on the map in the war room you'd see the territories shift. Based on the victor, you'll see the outcome from the window of your office (The city on fire from invasion or Celebrations from victory).
So probably the thing that's fascinated most about working on this project is from the month of working on the project to now, I've gone from having no experience with Morse to being able to remember most of the Alphabet and all numbers in Morse, something that is only going to become more fluent over the time of developing the project. It might be considered a dead language (as we have tech that can perform the same thing faster and clearer),
I hope you find this post answers your questions and I eagerly look forward to your responses.