Packing siege is one of the many requested and long-planned features for 0 A.D. Currently, siege engines in 0 A.D. can move and attack freely like a human unit, which isn’t very realistic. In the real world, siege engines would have to be transported to and constructed on the battle field. We will add the concept of “packing”, where a siege engine is either packed or unpacked. If packed, it can move but can’t attack, whereas if unpacked, it can attack but can’t move. Packing or unpacking will incur a delay, during which the engine will be unable to attack or move. This will enhance the realism of the game, but also add to the strategy of using siege engines — the player will need to carefully consider where and when to deploy them.
Fellow 0 A.D. developer and artist Pureon has been working with me to add this feature. The plan is to have at least packed and unpacked models of the siege engines, many of which have already been added to SVN. In the future, we might add transition animations of the engines packing and unpacking, as well as appropriate sounds.
Here is a rough demo of how siege packing might look in 0 A.D.:
Some of the challenges encountered so far:
- Add auto-pack and auto-unpack: when a packed engine is ordered to attack, it should move into range and unpack; when an unpacked engine is ordered to move, it should pack, then move into position.
- Make sure they continue to work with formations.
- Make sure order queuing works as expected while packing.
- Determine how or if we’ll want to use animations.
- Any considerations for the AIs?