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What makes an RTS great?


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#41 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 896

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:12 PM

Of course, to provide for balance, the areas near to the player will have the same type and quantity of resources so that both players will be in the same starting scenario.

 

That brings up another interesting thought.  What if resources are not created equal.  For instance, a robotic force would have little use for wood, but and Elf race would.  (not that I'm planning Robots and Elves:)  Each race or key might have their own strewngths and weaknesses.  And perhaps portions of the maps could be dynamic.  For instance, Instead of a map editor identifying that Crystal is found here, and Oil is found here, etc...  perhaps it could just identify that this is a Resource spot, and when the map is generated, it automatically fills in appropriate resources for the base/race near by.


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


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#42 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 896

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:18 PM

you build a barrack, but you could actually use it as a silo

 

I like the idea of multi-purposing buildings.  Perhaps just that you have the ability to place a Facade' over existing buildings to make them look like others.

 - I also like the idea of improving armor to buildings.  I.e. the more metal you throw into it, the more armored it gets.  etc...


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#43 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 896

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:29 PM

a hacking unit that highjacks opponents, but without controlling them. the player can figure out that one of his units is highjacked, but selecting it and giving orders, which a highjacked unit would obviously not understand, but as long as it has to just go on with the usual route e.g. a harvester, it would transport the hacking unit into the base. inside the base, the hacking unit could sabotage buildings, yet again, not destroy them or something, but, lets say, drop their efficiency. by how much? that depends on the player who's send the hack unit. if you set the efficiency of a factory to 99%, nobody might notice, but might also not change anything. you set it to 90% the opponent might notice it sooner or later. you set it to 0%, well, if it's in the middle of his attack, he might not realize his base is not working at all, if you do it during normal gameplay, you might delay him by 3 tanks or something.

 

I like this.  I remember in "Dark Reign" (about the same time as Star Craft 1), you had an Infiltrator   The Infiltrator was a character that was easily identifiable as one of yours, but he had excellent visual range, and if he say another Human unit, he could make himself look the same.  The enemy's characters would NOT recognize him as an enemy, and unless the player noticed this rouge character acting on their own, they could move around freely.

 - They would provide a few things of interest.

 1) You could see around in the enemies base.

 2) The infiltrator could sneak into an existing building.

 3) The infiltrator could then start researching technologies that the building created.  (starting with Level 1/weakest versions, and move up.  

 4) The infiltrator would have to make it back to your base and unload the information, but once done, you could then build the items as well.  

 5) if the enemy clicked on a building with an Infiltrator in it, they would see one was in it, and they could expell/mark them with a single click.  All enemies would then see the Infiltrator as a character of the original race again.  

 

It was a good idea, and something provided later in the game.  It seems like an idea to introduce enhanced technologies.  Perhaps they can't do a lot.  For instance, if you put an American Plumber in front of missile diagrams for a foreign country's weapon defense system, chances are they would not be able to make anything from them.  So perhaps the Infiltrator needs to be trained, and make repetitive trips, both sides learning from each other over time.  And of course, not perfect duplicates, but simply new upgrades, or different units entirely.  


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#44 DtCarrot   Members   -  Reputation: 327

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 11:48 PM

That brings up another interesting thought.  What if resources are not created equal.  For instance, a robotic force would have little use for wood, but and Elf race would.  (not that I'm planning Robots and Elves:)  Each race or key might have their own strewngths and weaknesses.  And perhaps portions of the maps could be dynamic.  For instance, Instead of a map editor identifying that Crystal is found here, and Oil is found here, etc...  perhaps it could just identify that this is a Resource spot, and when the map is generated, it automatically fills in appropriate resources for the base/race near by.

 

Maybe the amount of resources that will be changed in each map can depend on the match-up, as you have said a robotic force require more metal instead of wood, on the contrary, the Elves may require more wood. In this scenario, adjusting the resources of just a certain area will suffice. However, what if it match turns out to be Elves vs Elves, I don't think that in this case, the type of resources wouldn't imbalance the game too much since both players are in the same circumstances, if one is unable to make wood-heavy resources, so is the other. 

 

Also, what I don't like about RTS games is the deathballs and AOE effect. Many a times, I see that the deathball system makes game dull. In Starcraft II, you build up a large army for 10-30 minutes in which the game can twist greatly to the side of one player in a matter of 10 seconds. Psionic Storms, Hunter Seeker Missle, Fungal Growth and Colloseus can wipe out large armies extremely quickly. In comparison, I prefer the Warcraft III style of game play. The fighting takes a rather long time which helps to express a player's combat skill better. 



#45 shadowomf   Members   -  Reputation: 315

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 08:46 AM

Dark Reign

Nice game, at that time I never got to play it on my own computer. Only when I was visiting friends.

Didn't it also have really long firing distances for artillery and missiles? Over multiple screen widths?

 

That reminds me off Sudden Strike, there was no unit building or base management but it was still alot fun.



#46 aattss   Members   -  Reputation: 372

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:52 AM

Perhaps someone could make a new thread for race ideas in an rts?



#47 Yrjö P.   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1412

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 01:06 PM

Asymmetric factions.

Being able to win or lose at every point in the game - a 10/20 min build-up during which you are perfectly safe is no good.

Multiple factors to combat instead of fragile and shallow rock-paper-scissors. For example in Starcraft, when a number of Marines fight an equal value group of another unit type, who wins and by how much depends on positioning, upgrades, micro, and also the numbers of the units involved in the engagement.

Avoid unit/upgrade complexity. It just makes the game more of a boring Excel spreadsheet, and forces a serious player to memorize a ton of stuff. Instead have strongly different units. Make all decisions count.

Edited by Stroppy Katamari, 01 January 2013 - 01:06 PM.


#48 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 896

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 07:50 PM

Perhaps someone could make a new thread for race ideas in an rts?

 

Heh heh heh...  http://www.gamedev.net/topic/636893-rts-games-looking-for-some-racy-ideas-d/


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#49 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 896

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 07:55 PM

In regards to "Dark Reign":

Nice game, at that time I never got to play it on my own computer. Only when I was visiting friends.
Didn't it also have really long firing distances for artillery and missiles? Over multiple screen widths?

 

Yes, had Artillery that could shoot half way across some of the smaller maps.  Often hard to find.  It took longer for things to be destroyed, but you couldn't heal easily either.  Had to build a repair bay and have your vehicles return to it.  Excellent game.  Very editable to.  all the character designs where in text script, so you could attach weapons.  For fun, I would attach tachion tank cannons to the top of construction rigs, and the would build turrets in no time.  heck of a lot of destructive ability.


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#50 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 896

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 07:57 PM

Also, what I don't like about RTS games is the deathballs and AOE effect. Many a times, I see that the deathball system makes game dull. In Starcraft II, you build up a large army for 10-30 minutes in which the game can twist greatly to the side of one player in a matter of 10 seconds. Psionic Storms, Hunter Seeker Missle, Fungal Growth and Colloseus can wipe out large armies extremely quickly. In comparison, I prefer the Warcraft III style of game play. The fighting takes a rather long time which helps to express a player's combat skill better. 

 

Thats a good point  In starcraft, you go through units like their swiss cheese.  Increasing the life and decreasing the damage might work well to increase strategies.


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#51 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 896

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 08:02 PM

Avoid unit/upgrade complexity. It just makes the game more of a boring Excel spreadsheet, and forces a serious player to memorize a ton of stuff. Instead have strongly different units. Make all decisions count.

 

Agreed.  I don't want this to be a mathematics battle.  Tactics often have to do with numbers, but so much more, such as angles, multiple squads, timed strikes, team work, surprise, etc...


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#52 Yrjö P.   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1412

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 07:41 AM


Also, what I don't like about RTS games is the deathballs and AOE effect. Many a times, I see that the deathball system makes game dull. In Starcraft II, you build up a large army for 10-30 minutes in which the game can twist greatly to the side of one player in a matter of 10 seconds. Psionic Storms, Hunter Seeker Missle, Fungal Growth and Colloseus can wipe out large armies extremely quickly. In comparison, I prefer the Warcraft III style of game play. The fighting takes a rather long time which helps to express a player's combat skill better. 

Thats a good point  In starcraft, you go through units like their swiss cheese.  Increasing the life and decreasing the damage might work well to increase strategies. 


It's the opposite. Individual fights being over in a flash favor the strategically stronger player who
- has seen through the opponent's strategy and unit movements ahead of time
- has successfully concealed their own plans and/or deceived the opponent when there is something to gain from it
- has made good choices in army composition, production capacity, upgrades, etc. in relation to their own strategy and their idea of opponent's strategy
- has correctly judged the outcome of a potential engagement before it happens, and avoided as many unfavorable ones as possible
- has maximized their positional and timing advantages for the fight before it happens

High life and low damage causes pretty much all of those to count less. It favors the player with the ability to make simple optimization decisions as fast as possible, and has the mechanical execution ability to carry them out (whether those actions are going to micro or macro). Suppose you are completely terrible at strategy, and have a habit of getting outplayed positionally and walking your army into an ambush. If you only lose 10% of the strength of your army under fire before you have microed it to regroup on a neutral footing, you can pretty much ignore positioning and still win most fights as long as you have a slight efficiency advantage from mechanical micromanagement during battles.

#53 Unduli   Members   -  Reputation: 742

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:14 PM

Just for the records, as a control-freak, I hate the lack of ability of micromanage all at once in RTS games.

 

AI can handle a coordinated attack from three fronts but I can't, AI can control all economic activities perfectly but I can't ...

 

This simply annoys me.

 

And I don't think RTS is a good genre unless you are a 'Korean robot' or don't mind micromanagement. RTS simply has to lack in details.



#54 aattss   Members   -  Reputation: 372

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:38 PM

Perhaps you could make it so that units are more expensive but last longer, encouraging players to retreat back to base to heal and whatnot?



#55 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 896

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:01 PM

AI can handle a coordinated attack from three fronts but I can't, AI can control all economic activities perfectly but I can't ...
 
This simply annoys me.

 

I agree.   AI can 'click' 20 units, and tell them 20 different commands.  while we click 20 units and issue one command.  What if we had more commands, to control.  Perhaps our own custom attack plans, where a squad separates, and flanks, or runs in fires, and runs off.  then as the chase begins, another set of characters from the squad opens fire, and then runs a different angle, and they tag team.  

 

I also like premeditated bonuses.  For instance, if you plan to shoot then run, your player should have a brief sprint advantage on the run, because they would have prepared themselves for it.  


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#56 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 896

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:11 PM

Perhaps you could make it so that units are more expensive but last longer, encouraging players to retreat back to base to heal and whatnot?

 

I like this.  Its been said, by me and others, but I think you put it most eloquently here.  And gives me a good perspective towards it.  

 

In starcraft, you don't care if your "squad" wins or loses.  Lives are just another number.  But what if they weren't so cheap.  What if it wasn't a good tactic to send 20 soldiers into a heavily armed base.

 

I like the idea that base defense is stronger.  I like the idea that squad characters cost more, and you want to keep them alive.  I especially like the idea of Veteran/Experienced troops handling better, so you want them around even more.  Heck, even that they take initiative and train them selves in things when not in use.  Like medical, or special weapons.  Because they themselves want to do better, and have a better chance of survival.  Self enhancing characters?  Especially, that these characters are random, particularly having higher chances the longer life and actions a character has.  These characters may actually boost moral of the teams they are in.  


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#57 AltarofScience   Members   -  Reputation: 921

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:13 PM

Well games like Majesty have heroes that buy new items and pay to learn new skills as well as leveling up from exp.

 

Other games are focusing on leveling of units over time. Warlords Battlecry 3 even has units gain exp that aren't hero units.



#58 Mratthew   Members   -  Reputation: 1480

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:32 AM

Something I'd like to see in RTS is more vertical game play. I realize visibility limitations occur for the average RTS but there is also many well established systems for character selection and unit following now that jumping to a platoon of soldiers on the 312 floor of a building that is being cleared should not only be possible but I should have played it by now. A holographic display of units inside structures, etc would help to keep the player immersed in the look of the game the same way that Company of Heroes sound design uses a static filled radio call from units off screen to keep the player immersed in the sound. Vertical game play could carry over to more creative species like Zerg, enabling units to wall crawl and hide on the ceiling and in vents properly (not burrowing through steel plating). Mage's could control tall spires to summon greater titans and bring down more terrible wrath on the hordes below. Great apes could climb buildings eating people to keep his strength up.

 

In any case, I think you get the idea.



#59 Mratthew   Members   -  Reputation: 1480

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:47 AM

I also like the idea of squad building. I've brought this up before but I'm going to try and reword it. If you are going to send a squad of 20 soldiers head long into death, any survivors should be worth more then the average soldier. And by stacking a new group of 20 soldiers on that surviving veteran, that 20 soldiers should be more effective and easier to issue commands to like issuing a single macro command along with a supporting kite skill command to the veteran instead of micro control over the 20 units to achieve a successful kite tactic against the enemy. I like building and customizing my units (even one at a time) but I hate losing them because I couldn't keep track of them or because they "weren't as important". Sometimes you need to crack a few eggs but the idea of these games is that you should be able to achieve a level of play where you don't have to. That's what superior strategy is.

 

This could go further as well, stacking multiple veteran controlled squads onto single platoon leader and multiple platoon leaders onto an outfit commander and issuing a single assault command to the outfit commander then jumping down the ranks to issue skill commands to platoon leaders, squad leaders and soldiers alike to achieve the advantage. Then dropping a nuke on the whole mess because I still failed, that's what superior strategy is ;D


Edited by Mratthew, 08 January 2013 - 12:49 AM.


#60 ShiftyCake   Members   -  Reputation: 470

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:40 AM

Strategic RTS. Everyone's viewpoints all bottle down to this simple label I slapped on.

A Real Time Shooter,

that requires strategy in order to succeed.

Or, in other words, we're going to fuck you up really fast and really hard while making you think about what you are doing. Strategy RTS's suck. They really really do.

On the other hand, Strategic Lapse RTS. Which I just made it.

It is basically the same thing, yet between fights you are given a brief time of "lapse" as such where you are free to do what you wish. Or, in other words, you are given time to prepare and execute a battle plan. Now THIS is where things get interesting.

 

Take, for example, CoD: Black Ops 2 approach to side missions in their campaign. They have put you as a commander of a force that has to hold off waves of attackers, and they allow you to switch from first-person view (to command a unit or units yourself) and birds-eye view (to command your units to do something, with full view of the entire field). Let's take this, and improvise it a little to fit in with our "time-lapse battle strategy" idea.

 

Say, you have 120 seconds to organize whatever you have on the battlefield before you are put into permanent first-person as your character. This means you could, say, buy c4 and place it at certain choke-points you will lure the enemy in, etc.

 

Then comes the idea of enviromental change, as some people have suggested. Such things as wind being affected will be downright annoying, but if we scrap the idea of having "environmental change" and replace it with "player-created environmental change" we're getting somewhere. That is to say, the environment only changes if the player wishes to do so. Say, the player wants to open up a wall in order to slip by, he can do this by blowing it up with c4. Or maybe he has set up a trap that blows up a buildings structural grounding, causing it to collapse on enemy's approaching him, maybe enable you to "kick" which causes you to hit debris into enemy's distracting them or dust or whatever, etc.

 

"The insert underpowered class here class is overpowered". This is heard too much in games, why? Because people do not allow the players themselves to choose their differentiation's  rather they create pre-made classes, slap labels on them and pretend they're giving players a "true" choice of how to play. Scrap this, no-one really wants classes. Or rather, no-one wants to be limited by their classes. So choose either having classes being able to use whatever they wish, with slightly different stats, or just have one goddamn class who can be whatever kind of bad-ass he wants to be.

 

"I'm level 20 and just unlocked an overpowered weapon, GG". This is true too many times, players simply have to attain a certain level to unlock something so stupidly overpowered you just sit there thinking WHY. Instead of rewarding players with an overpowered gun that makes them invincible for sitting there for 20 games going afk, reward players in a way that does not affect gameplay. Say you play as a thief every game, you didn't unlock an overpowered weapon for it. Rather, you get a special attire for your thief class that says "yeah, Imma thieving all over". And then, say, your a fucking bad-ass who tips hats to snipers all day and assassinate them. You get an attire that says "I'm a bad-ass snipers, prepare to cower in corners".

 

PEOPLE SEE WITH THEIR EYES. Games just cannot understand this concept, players do not see with their brains but rather with their eyes. Rewarding a player for killing 100 people with a title is like saying "we put zero effort into making your time worthwhile". Rewarding them, on the other hand, with some bad-ass attire is like saying "bitch, we know how things roll".

Let's look at an example, League of Legends. Entirely free game. ENTIRELY FREE. it doesn't not have a shop where you buy a sword that utterly destroy everyone. ever. No, the only thing that you must pay money for is skins. And you know what? EVERYONE BUYS THESE SKINS. BECAUSE THEY SEE WITH THEIR EYES. yet basically zero companies do this, instead they slap in an item shop to buy overpowered in-game swords instead. Yeah, they have clothes for sale, but they're not even worth calling clothes. More like pieces of shit slapped with a clothing label.

 

ohk ohk, that's enough. Not only have I started digressing, I'm getting into a topic that annoys me. Not a good thing when discussing such things. I believe I'll let it be here, and you can see whatever I spewed out of my mouth. Because, really, I have no clue what I just said.

Also, just noticed there were three pages. Only speed-read the first one. So yeah.


If, at any point, what I post is hard to understand, tell me. I am bad at projecting my thoughts into real words, so I appreciate the knowledge that I need to edit my post.

 

I am not a professional writer, nor a professional game designer. Please, understand that everything you read is simply an opinion of mind and should not, at any point in time, be taken as a credible answer unless validated by others.

 

I do take brief bouts of disappearance so don't worry if I either don't reply to you or miss certain things. I am quite a lazy fellow.





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