Game design and theory - Introducting third class (team) inside Tremulous


Idea like idea. It can be good, it can be bad. Point of view ™,

Adding third class inside the game, so there are “aliens”, “colonial marines a.k.a humans” and something else (new class).

It is not a big problem to do basic and initial implementation of the netcode (I wanted to add up to 84 players (28 players per team) and gamelogic. Problem is what kind of that new “third” class should be.
What kind of assets (models, sounds, textures, animations, etc. etc. etc) should have.
Does that new class need “buildables” like there are for the “aliens” and for the “humans”, “upgrades” also…
AI (or bots) …
Balance problems…
Game logic and engine quirks about adding new class …
Maps … At the moment there is no map what is supporting 3rd class/team. So because of that I would like to introduce new objectivity based system (like in the Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory) …

Personally I would like to read and to understand what readers think about all this.

P.S. I will reply only on posts what have some meaning and some point :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :kissing_heart:
Just to tell so there are no problems and hard feelings :slight_smile:


The third team IMO should be something different, not just a generic cookie-cutter team. It could be even be named differently depending on which team you are in, e.g. “Treehuggers” for humans and “Fools” for aliens. Idea: it should be a second human team with only defensive weapons and structures. Their goal should be to prevent humans and aliens from fighting one another by use of various force fields and barriers and stuff.


Could we allow support for up to 128 players? Just in case someday we might want to have 4 teams with up to 32 players each, either perhaps as a default game mode option or at least for custom mods to potentially take advantage of? As long as the option for more players are there without having to break compatibility for that in the future, it is no big deal to have a lower max set by sv_maxclients. Better yet, can the netcode be designed to not have any hardcoded limit on the max number of clients that would require breaking compatibility in the future to increase? Experience tells me that the more flexibility for future compatibility there is, the better.


If we are looking for, say a third team, it’s not going to look anything like the humans at all, unless we make it like so. It’d kind of be two alien races, if we were to include some race that wouldn’t be a robot race. While the idea for a third team sounds pretty cool, I haven’t exactly seen many if any of say, First Person Shooters or whatever other style games are to Trem, like an Alien Vs Human type situation, but it’d be unique and at least different to add a 3rd team, the idea and all is great, but coming up with the race might be a bit challenging, at least in my opinion, unless we’re just going to say a robot race, then it’d practically be two alien races fighting each other and humans.


This is a interesting idea, however, just renaming an already in-game built team, being the exact same for that team except trying to say, stop the aliens by using force fields, or only humans with defensive weapons and structures, in my opinion, is not a great way to make a new team, it doesn’t give off the vibe of say “a new team, something different” more of just a “look, it’s a re-named team for humans that only do this”.


Not only do I agree but considering the fact that the game is stalled long enough this will indeed overboard the stalling

Now mine isn’t picture perfect as well and could induce game stalling considering the fact that teams would have a slight push or pull could make major tides of war changes within a small period or a longer period that could hinder or further your chosen side, but this all depends on how people use this new resource and how it is created


But, how could said third team do stalling? If both teams are sitting there, defending and trying to survive, what’s not to say the third team could be a road block to that or simply sleek by, destroying one team while they’re trying to trash another.


It would increase game time because all teams would have to be destroyed including the third one within that defense things. While on the other hand it still keeps our one on one but with a bonus helping hand to increase defense or attack or etc depending on what is added


Well, the thing about this say support or defending team, is that it can be hugely unbalanced, what if this support team just keeps throwing themselves at the aliens, constantly allowing them to constantly win or what if they pick humans, and they constantly win, because if there is some sort of defense team or support team, the team getting the support will be given the greater outcome™.


That cant be fixed unless you have some sort of no-credit inducing factor or if they are not helping or building something within a time period removed from that team

other wise it will happen no matter what third team you have


Perhaps maybe, why not make this third team, if its going to be some sort of support team or defense team, say a capturable? That way humans can have it for X amount of time, and maybe it’d be aliens strategic gameplay to try to catch that team and then use it themselves.




I really expected trolling and bashing the idea of the 3rd team, and because of that I was preparing myself for trolling :slight_smile:

Please, don’t mind if I skip some quoting.

Idea: it should be a second human team with only defensive weapons and structures. Their goal should be to prevent humans and aliens from fighting one another by use of various force fields and barriers and stuff.

With that approach, you are introducing new dynamic in the game, because both teams will rush to “end” the 3rd team. I believe that this will introduce unbalance with the teams, What is a point of the game then?

Could we allow support for up to 128 players?
Battlefield 5 Firestorm have support up to 64 players (32 per team), new CoD Blackout max 80 players (40 per team)
It is not a problem to have 128 players, just 128:3 = ~42.66 per team. Weird on so many levels :slight_smile:

It’d kind of be two alien races, if we were to include some race that wouldn’t be a robot race.
Sure, like what? Fully explain your idea.


Can’t the 3rd team simply be twice as strong defensively than either team then? I.e:

Condition Victorious Team
Humans kill all aliens Humans
Aliens kill all humans Aliens
Either base is sealed off Treehuggers

My idea is that treehuggers would get credits for healing humans and aliens, so neither would really want to off them, and it shouldn’t be really possible.

In fact, I think that the third team, whatever it is, should not be possible to kill off, and there’s a simple reasoning for that. If a team is possible to kill off, then the players will have to move to other teams, which would be impossible if the teams are full, which might IMO damage server social dynamics.


I haven’t exactly come up with some alien race on the spot, but I’ll be sure™ to share it sometime, whenever I think of one up. :wink:


It could be interesting to even just have a third team that fits how @lamefun referred to as a “cookie-cutter team”. That is a team that has the same overall goal and “topology” as the humans and aliens, and maybe just with custom classes, weapons, buildables, upgrades, etc. That alone introduces new dynamics and strategies, including the possibility of temporary alliances. Even with just this “basic” change, new maps would have to be made specifically with three teams factored into the design.

A third team could be something as simple as (what has been touched on in a bit in above posts) another human team that has political, social, and technological differences from the current human team, or perhaps a new set of aliens that have a different origin from the current alien team. In any such case, we would probably want to rename even the existing two teams to less generic names than “humans” and “aliens”, perhaps even as @lamefun mentioned, have the names of the teams depend on the team you are on, as what is often seen even in real life, a given society tends to refer to another society by something other than what that other society calls itself.

There has been discussions for a third team in Tremulous in the past. From some research, it looks like only one Tremulous mod has actually been implemented with a third team. This was a 1.1 mod created by Rotacak, it’s third team was “robots”. For reference, here is the link to that mod on the old forums: .

There was another previous attempt at a third team Tremulous mod, although it looks like it never really materialized. It was called “The Unvanquished” (it looks to have been a predecessor project to the separate game by the same name, although the seperate Unvanquished game only has two teams). The third team in the Tremulous mod “The Unvanquished” was a demon team.

Another possible approach is to go back to some of the original ideas of the beginning of Tremulous as a mod on Quake III Arena (back around 2001/2002), when there was a “droid” team, that were like self propagating cyborgs with a mix of biological and technological, before the alien team materialized. We could bring back some form of that team and have Humans vs Aliens vs “Droids” (reference:

Droid classes are divided up in 3 subclasses: Offense, Defense, and Builder.

The droids have well developed methods of upgrading themselves, to higher biological and mechanical infacstructure. They have a biological system of tissues, organs, and organ systems that seamlessly work together, much like our own. This biological material is taken from hosts, human or animal. The process in which they take host biological matter and integrate it into their own, is called ‘infestation.’

Droids latch themselves to the hosted flesh, and undergo a form of rapid digestion. The targeted flesh is solidified quickly, and taken in by the organ. In this organ, many nano-bots take the protein material and circulate it around the droids body. The nano-bots responsible for healing, starts to create cells at an extremely fast pace. The droid itself literally gains mass from the target it is infesting, with blood vessels and different organs gaining different types of mass.

The user is given a choice of classes to upgrade to with each infestation. Therefore the classes are conceptually organised in a tree structure.

The nano-bots responsible for the physical changes that are undergone during infestation, are also capable of effectively healing the droid. Damaged biological tissues are repaired through artificial protein synthesis, in only a moderate length of time.

I would like to add that one of the interesting features of that old Tremulous “droid” team was that they would “evolve” by first occupying a human corpse (in the case of a third team approach, perhaps they could occupy either a human or an alien corpse, and the class of the corpse a “droid” occupies could have a direct influence on on how they advance). An interesting side note, the corpse occupying code was a precursor to the hovel occupying code for aliens. This idea of making use of ungibbed corpses perhaps as a resource or for some other game mechanic (zombies anyone :wink: ?) could be utilized in another third team implementation, or even in some way with just the existing two teams.

Here are some other additional considerations and/or variations for implementing a third team:

  • A third team doesn’t necessarily have to be playable, it could be composed entirely of bots.

  • A third team doesn’t necessarily have to depend on buildables, there could even be a different way for that team to spawn.

  • A third team doesn’t necessarily have to have the same objectives as humans and aliens to win.

  • The overall game design doesn’t necessarily have to be 0 sum, where winning for a/some/all teams don’t necessarily require a loss by another team.

An interesting possible approach :slight_smile: .

Another idea:

Inter-dimensional Poltergeist Team

This team comes from some other universe, and crosses over to our universe through some kind of inter-dimensional portal (that perhaps can be destructible). In their basic form, they can move around our world able to no-clip through other players/buildables, and generally can’t be directly damaged by conventional physical means. They could posses corpses of either of the other teams to “do stuff”. They can also alter/influence the physics in different areas in different ways to cause all sorts of mischief on the other two teams.

The idea isn’t so much to allow for over 40 players on each team, but rather to allow for the possibility to have more than 3 teams.


What about a gnome team? It would be a curious species descended from stranded human time-travelers, which has wisely rejected the allure of smartphones and thus has kept their street smarts so to speak. They should be as small as a house cat or maybe a toddler and though rather strong for their size, they should still be no match for either a human or an alien. This is why a player should be able to control an entire group, with a third-person view over them!

They should also have a unique technology available to them: an advanced subspace backpack! It should allow them to carry quite a substantial amount of raw materials and be able to construct a wide variety of low-tech things on the spot, such as traps, ladders, ramps, walls, bridges and so on.

The only high-tech things they should have is their own telenodes and the aforementioned backpack, and basic guns such as single-shot pistol, break-open shotgun and carbine.

They should also have access to an ample array of movement tools, such as grappling hooks, ladders, ropes and so on right from the beginning of the game.

And ditch the “aliens don’t depend on the base” thing and make them more base-dependent to prevent annoying egg hunts. There would be annoying gnome hunts instead.


A variation of my “Inter-dimensional Poltergeist” team idea, that would include the “inter-team assistance” idea discussed a bit above so far in this thread, might be to have the third team’s role/function be similar to that of the Ancient Greek gods. Basically the outcome of the match would still be about whether the humans or the aliens won, but each player on the third team would pick either the humans or the aliens to assist, and the humans and aliens would be like abstract chess pieces to the third team. Much like how the Ancient Greek gods would pick specific city states and heroes to back, and settle their political difference with the other gods through those “pawns”. Or like how the USSR and USA would have proxy wars between other nations during the Cold War, without “officially” fighting each other directly.

I would like to add a remark about the inclusion of a third team in relation to Tremulous’ theme. I believe the mainstream theme at least (excluding mod choices, they can always diverge), should stay along science fiction. There can still be a lot of good ideas/inspiration from thinking in terms of other themes, such as fantasy, etc, in terms of interesting game play, and that can especially be useful through the brainstorming process. But I believe that ultimately any such ideas being included in implementation should be converted to a scifi equivalent, which is not hard to do with some creativity, for example there is a fine line between magic and science (especially when considering what can be done with the concepts and phenomena of quantum mechanics, relativity, string theory, etc, and scifi allows a certain amount of artistic freedom in addition to those fields).


Understandable… there’s a thing that I call “spiritual dissolution”, which causes a person’s mind to become closed, sterile, apathetic and often sour and vindictive. There’s probably a term for this in (para)psychology, and @dGr8LookinSparky is the only person I know who seems to have been spared by it.

The scary thing is that you really can’t judge how much you have been affected, since it makes you think that people who are less affected are either dumb or crazy. So there’s that…


What about simply letting spectators to occasionally participate? Add some type of ghost detectors which can be attached to structures and let spectators control them. In humans for example, this would be advantageous, since a spectator could start shooting an alien earlier and from a greater distance than a turret would on its own. Spectators could also control hive swarms in a smarter way and a spectator-only directional spray feature could be added to acid tubes.