Braindump: Risk MMO

I frequently get odd little ideas into my head that I know full well I’ll never follow though. Rather than let them fade away, I feel I should start writing them article writers needed down in case someone else might be interested.

A Risk-Like MMO

At one point there was a version of Risk written for the Google Maps API (which has since been shut down by Hasbro). I wasn’t a Risk player when it was around, but now that I am, it got me thinking about multiplayer Risk over the internet — and then about a massively multiplayer extension of the game rules…

Obviously it wouldn’t extend to thousands of players like WoW; more like 50 or so per game. And it couldn’t follow the original rules too closely, or it would be unmanageable. (Imagine waiting for your turn in a 50 player game!)

Here’s some rough ideas I’ve come up with so far:

  • First off, call it something other than Risk, or Hasbro will string you up!
  • The map is subdivided into real, contemporary territories. Larger countries are divided into their states or provinces. (Instead of 9 territories for North America, it consists of the 50 states of the USA and the 13 provinces & territories of Canada.)
  • Where this gets unwieldy (eg. USA), the states could be grouped into regions which roughly approximate the original territories. Controlling a region earns a small benefit (say +1 reinforcement), and the whole nation earns some additional benefit. At this point, controlling the entire continent may not need additional bonuses because of cumulative effects.
  • Players are assigned a rank each round, calculated first by territories, then regions, then units, and finally by a random number assigned each round. (All else being equal in the first round, rank is random.) Players can see each others’ ranks for the round, so they know where their biggest threats lie.
  • Each player takes their turn simultaneously. They have a fixed period in which to enter all their movements, then all battles get resolved in one batch. Battles are processed in rank order. The players are shown the results of the battles, then the next round begins.
  • Turn order is as follows:
  1. Fortify (except first turn) — this happens first instead of last, because you only find out the results of your battles at the start of your next turn.
  2. Reinforce — place units as normal
  3. Attack — you can only attack from territories you control in the current turn. For a territory with X units, you can allocate up to X-1 units to the attack. This many units are committed to the battle; all surviving units will move to the target territory. If all X are killed without a victory, the attack ends. One territory can attack multiple targets by splitting the unit count. (eg, for a 6-unit territory, 3 could attack one target, and 2 could attack another in a single turn.) Battles are processed in the order they are entered.
  4. The turn ends when the player is satisfied, or time runs out.
  • There will probably need to be more interconnections between territories. Perhaps certain key territories could hold airports, with permanent connections to other airports. If you control any 2 airports, you can also reinforce between them (even if they don’t otherwise share a connection).

I’m sure there’s a lot more to take into consideration too.

If you’ve got any thoughts, feel free to leave them in the comments!

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