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Member Since 28 Dec 2012
Offline Last Active Oct 03 2014 10:11 PM

#5015233 What makes an RTS great?

Posted by on 28 December 2012 - 06:03 PM

Its not that some strategies are hard to see in code. Its that no one person can see as many strategies as the thousands of hardcore RTS players who will play the game.


One person vs thousands.


Although I agree that one person trying to define strategies is nothing against a horde of rts players constantly experimenting, that wasn't what I was trying to say. 


By cultivating a small group of players during development that are play testing and discussing strategies for your unique races as they evolve, you can find balance in macro strategies that wouldn't be evident in unit vs unit comparisons. Hope that clears up my point a little.

#5015216 What makes an RTS great?

Posted by on 28 December 2012 - 04:50 PM

In regards to creating different 'races' that have unique play styles, I think it would be a good idea to start with deciding on different styles of play that are interesting and make sense for the game and not worry too much about their specifics and how they balance each other in the beginning. I think this will give you more variation in play styles and avoid a template race that is then just modified for each additional race.


That approach would require a few things:


1. Most, if not all of the gameplay/unit data to be scripted/easily editable. Which, for an rts, is already a must imo. 

2. Agile development or something similar that allows for play-testing/significant changes during most of the development cycle.

3. A LOT of play-testing. Preferably by a small group of experienced rts players that can evolve/document strategies as the game progresses(No reason these can't be developers, but time might become an issue)


For a non-competitive rts, focusing on the macro strategy level and not the math/direct counters is your best bet.


ie-Just because Race A has a unit that does a lot of damage, doesn't mean Race B needs one(copy) or even a heavy armor unit that can take the hits(counter).


Sometimes strategies just emerge from gameplay that are invisible when looking at the data values/code. That's why I stress creating unique (grounded) ideas, rapid prototype them, and see how they play together.