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Extrarius

Real Time Tactical

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I'm working on making a game simmilar to an RTS, but I plan to make a few major changes. The first change is that instead of gathering minerals at all, I plan to make the mystical all-powerfull 'resources' be given automatically to all players equally at short intervals, something like 1 'resource point' a second. Next, instead of units being built by buildings, reinforcements are requested. This means two things: first, the request can be denied. There will be a limit to the number of a specific unit type you can request per time unit (it will probably be per 12 minutes to start). Next, reinforcements arrive in waves. Instead of each soldier taking X time units to build, a player can queue up units and all the units queued up arrive at specific intervals (I will probably use 4 minutes as a starting number). This makes multitasking a little less important, as one can spend only a few seconds queueing up units right before the next wave comes instead of needing to constantly queue units as the resources arrive so as to have them as quickly as possible. I hope to allow players to concentrate on strategic use of the units they have rather than worrying about when they get X resources. Another change I plan to make is the scale of armies. I plan on making a very low unit cap, something like 20 units max per player. This allows players to focus more on using each individual unit strategically instead of just grouping them all together and clicking "attack-move" on the other side of the enemy base so they plow through it. I also plan to make the game lack the typical age/epoch/tier system. There will be a central building, but it will not have one generic upgrade that opens doors to new units, upgrades, etc. The tech tree will be more complex, with each advanced upgrade depending on 1+ basic upgrade. Currently I hope to make the game based on the technology of the last few decades up to now, with soldiers wielding guns, vehicles(mostly ground-based), missiles, rockets, etc. I will probably make the minimap show the whole map as if the fog of war didnt exist (though it will on the 'real view), but it will have 'errors' (it will act as a satellite feed would, it has to be 'interpreted' by people that might not notice some vehicles as millitary, and it probably wont show any non-vehicle units unless there are several together). I'm trying to make an RTS more strategy/tactics and less "gotta multitask to build masses of units the fastest and send them all directly at the enemy base". Please make suggestions and tell me if this sounds remotely interesting, or maybe its like a game that already exists that I haven't played, etc. (Note that its 6AM here and I haven't slept since yesterday morning, so please forgive me if the above is total jibberish and doesn't make any sense at all. I'll be back after sleep to add/fix/clarify my ideas) [edited by - Extrarius on August 14, 2002 6:59:18 AM]

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Yeah, i like this idea of not gathering ressources but recieving them regularly. Just because it makes the oppenent equals to you (in term of ressources), so you''re both fighting on the same basis, a good challenge. Your concepts (auto-ressources, no buildings, few units) are very good alternatives to the classic "build and attack" of usual RTS. The only thing i would put very much importance is making the units very different. With very different capabilities with pro and contras. Each unit should easely kill some other as well as being easely killed by some other. Like this, managing units becomes interesting. Not like c&c where you always make an army of tanks because their are the most usefull.
good luck!

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(Had some nice good sleep since the last post =-)
That is exactly what I plan on doing. This will probably be the first project I ever work on that I actually take the time to write up some documents and do some real thinking before I start coding (partly because I have to wait to get my student ID before I can get my copy of VS.NET pro =-). Every unit will have 1 or 2 strength and 1 or 2 counters. I also plan on making some upgrades change the strength/weaknesses of the units it upgrades. That would allow for fast reaction to enemy units. You suddenly see that they are using units a, b, and c but you dont have the proper counter, so you take upgrade x to make one of your units a semi-counter that is a little better at killing units a but now they are weak against unit d. The other player can either build unit d to totally destory the upgraded unit, or he/she can take a simmilar upgrade that makes unit c a semi-counter to the new upgraded unit.

Please reply with more comments, suggestions, etc.

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Yeah, I like it when things are like complex paper-scissors-rock - weaknesses to each other and stuff. A lot of the focus would become "What unit combination should I have?", and that, in fact, would probably be the primary attraction of the game. Also, with proper Line of Sight rules, bonuses/etc based on elevation in relation to target, physchological factors (maybe units are less accurate if they're scared sh1tless by, say, being surrounded and in a bad position), it could become a very cool, very tactical game.

I have one major piece of advice: Keep it slow!

You absolutely cannot have things work at the pace of most modern RTS games - since this requires so much tactical thinking, it'll need to move at about half that speed (unit movement, fire rate, etc). Anyone who's played, say, Warcraft 3, knows that battles involving a dozen units for each side can last as short as only 10 seconds - meaning there simply isn't enough time to micromanage at all at that game speed.

At the same time, you have to make it to where your players don't get bored. Perhaps a dynamic system where when a battle starts, everything slows down to a manageable speed, but when not in battle, things are faster and you can get your units where you want them, recieve units faster, research faster, etc. Of course, for multiplayer, the game would have to slow down for ALL parties involved in the multiplayer game (possibly restricting it to 1v1 battles to avoid player frustration).

Just some thoughts - good luck!

Edit: Clarification - 1v1 meaning one player VS one other player, not one unit VS one other unit

[edited by - AeroBLASTER on August 14, 2002 4:46:13 PM]

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I do plan on slowing it down some from the typical pace of RTS, but it will still be possible to lose everything in a few seconds if the enemy planned and placed units well while you did not =-)

Another change I am thinking about making to the standard RTS method of things is to make most units (but probably not all of them) have a vision area that isnt a circle. For most soldiers, it would be an cone with a curve instead of a point that extends only a very small way behind them and much farther in the direction they are facing. To change the direction units are looking, I was thinking of using control-right click would make all selected units look in the direction of the mouse, and make a per unit toggle that controls how they move: face direction of movement, face destination point, dont change direction of vision, and a constant sweeping. The first two are different only in situations where the path to the destination isnt a straight line. Also, the constant sweeping would be made to allow close units to ''work together'' so they can cover more area and have every unit constantly looking outward from the group to make small groups more usefull than sending a single unit out. Different units will have different widths and lengths of vision areas: for example, a sniper would have 2 modes, wide and short or narrow and very long. The second mode represents being zoomed in, while the previous represents using the rifle unaimed and would proably have half accuracy or something like that. It would be very important to have at least one person in a group sweeping around checking for threats, but one also has to have the right units to sweep. A sniper will not be as good at sweeping wide angles as a normal soldier, since snipers are used to narrow angles. A machine gunner might be good at covering a wide angle, but not at sweeping circles because his gun is heavy and not meant to be moved quickly. I might even go the typical route in FPS for machine gunners and make them have to ''deploy'' the gun for it to be usefull.

Btw, I need help thinking up lots of different units, their stats, upgrades, etc. Currently, I want about 20 unit types, with each unit having at least 2 upgrades. Also, some upgrades may effect more than 1 specific unit type. For example, maybe an upgrade called "Improved Driving" that slightly increases the speed of all ground vehicles and decreases their turn radius, or a scope upgrade that increases the accuracy ratings of some soldier units. I also want some units and upgrades to depend on having some other upgrades. For example, maybe the sniper unit requires the scope upgrade.

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Well I wonder what RTS you''ve been playing because when I play AoK it''s nothing like you described. Managining a economy creates more strategy considering you not only have to gather enough resources to have to decide how many people you need in order to gather X resources and whether you want to spend these resources on x when you could spend it on x for x. Then you have to deal with military as well, mixing an army or mass one or two types? Rush or don''t rush, boom or don''t boom. Lots of choices and resources add to the tactical level of the game. The RTS games of today are not about speed, that is only one concept. Maybe you''ve been losing to the "speedy" players when really what you need is practice in order to counter them.

Bleu Shift - www.bleushift.tk

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PSWind: I''m designing a NEW kind of game, RTT - Real Time Tactical. It''s going to be a wargame, not a game of optimizing peons per gold mine. Its about using a few troops as a scalpel to win the game, not amassing an army of 2 or 3 different unit types and using them as a machete to beat your enemy until you win. It will hopefully make tacticas and precision more important than just raw speed at clicking buttons when exactly enough resources come in. I want a game in which players actually compete against eachother instead of merely deciding on a build order and executing it until they win or lose. I would like adaptation be required to win the game. Amassing 20 snipers wont let one win the game, the enemy can buy an airplane and take out 19 of them before it dies, and then he can rush in with the rest of his army and take the base and win the match. I want a game where planning and execution of precise, dynamic maneuvers is more important than sending 200 units at the enemy base.

Actually, I''ve been winning a lot in WC3 as a speed player. I''ve lost some too, but speed is VERY important in current RTS (I''ve played AOE, SC, EE, and WC3, and all 4 are the same in that aspect). Of course, if one is a total moron, then speed is nothing, but with a little bit of intelligence, speed goes a long, long, long way.

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Gooood luck.

Force Commander was supposed to be just like that, and we all know how well it turned out.

Again, the "I''m going to do _ better than anyone else." mindset clouds judgment.

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Kylotan, nice catch.

Extrarius, no one can firmly tell you these are bad ideas, as we have yet to see them in effect. Listen, if you can implement your ideas well, it will work well.

As a personal opinion, I wouldn''t cap units per player. What you could do is assign squadrons, or platoons, like the military does. In games like StarCraft, players can take all of their units and just throw them at another players base, with no chain of command, no ranking, etc. This works for their game, but not for something like you''re doing.

I suggest making a tier for your units. Meaning the units follow chain of command. You can have 5-6 types of "grunt" units that serve as the lowest level of command, taking orders from everyone. Then you can have 2-3 types of higher commanding units, then 1-2 types even higher, than 1 type of unit that has highest authority in any situation.

Then, the gameplay would work in dispatched platoons. You could assign platoons, choose who you want in them, and dispatch them. The units all follow the orders of their higher ranking officers. To make it more interesting, your higher ranked officers could be "smarter", or have better A.I, and lower units AI are less intelligent and more dependant. Similar to real life..meaning if you take out your enemy''s platoon leader (or leaders), the lower-ranked units become less effective, operating without a commanding officer. Thus, the group becomes easier to take out. It would make for some fun situations. The strategy would be to take out the leaders of any groups of units, which would be hard due to all of the opposing fire.

Anyway, for the command officers, you wouldn''t want to give them the ability to change the orders you gave, but let them be flexible with it, and let them micro-manage the units they''re with. Let them operate as they would in real life.

Don''t think this idea would be a hassle, you could make it easy to work with for the player. Simply select a bunch of units, making sure their is some chain of command in them, and hit a keystroke like CTRL+G, binding them to a ''platoon''. Then you simply give the group an order, and they follow it out.

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I like most of your ideas but here''s some changes I''d like to see:

1) I like the concept of having reinforcements instead of having to manually build forces in one at a time in a building. In real war, units are requested like you said. However, I don''t like the idea of resources being given equally to players. Part of the strategy (and even tactics) of war is that one side has a greater material advantage than the other....or has better/worse logistics and consequently can not send reinforcements out as quickly.

What you might do is have resource control points. The intention is to have your forces try to capture and control them to deny the enemy from using them. And remember, it''s not just the raw materials that are needed, but the refinement and processing centers. Steel requires ores, oil requires refineries, machines need manufacturing plants, etc. Capture these and the enemy''s ability to fight back is diminished.

2) As for the awareness of units, you may want to have a cone with a certain sensor "factor", but extend to the sides for a sort of "peripheral vision" but with a reduced rating. Also, certain kinds of formations should have better arcs of vision. For example, skirmish formations and bounding overwatch formations were designed specifically for reconniassance.

3) If you have a 20 unit cap, make sure there is a logical consistent reason for it. Perhaps the player is only of a certain rank, and can not control larger than that amount. Other units could be AI controlled.

4) as for the tech tree and unit types, I too prefer something simple. Unless the game is a era-spanning game like Empire Earth, or Civilization, I don''t really see the point of introducing radical changes in unit types. Improvements in exsiting unit types is definitely good, and I think that only two or three radical tech changes should happen(in a WWII example, Radar, Jet engines, and cryptograph/computers.....note I did not use atomic bombs, because that is a tech item that essentially won the "game")

For unit types, here I see a chance for you to do something different. Instead of controlling individuals, come up with small groups, say a squad or platoon or men, and for vehicles, 4-6 units per icon. Each unit will have it''s own baseline capabilities....for example, you could have support weapons teams, combat engineers, AA teams, ATW teams, Forward observers, etc. As for vehicles, they tend to be far more homogenous and there are only a few speciality vehicle types that may get attached...for example AA vehicles, or mobile command headquarters.

If you''re gunning for realism which is sounds like you are, then rather focus on unique unit types, focus on specialities within the unit. I personally detest rock/paper/scissors, for that style of unit design focuses too much on the unit itself, and not on how it is used. The basis of tactics is to decide what unit to use for a particular situation and how best to maneuver it for maximum advantage. The TRUE skill in tactics is not so much what unit to use (which is what rocks/papers/scissors stresses), but making sure that the unit you chose does what it is supposed to do, where you want it to do it, and at the time you want it to do it in. RTS basically assume you have a God-like control over units which totally negates the last points I mentioned.

Morale, unit quality, leadership, command and control, unit cohesion, fatigue, and logistics are simply not factored in. WHAT a unit can do (rps) is often not as important IF that unit can do it. Maximizing your unit''s potential is the key to leadership and tactics and is the reason why smaller superior trained forces can defeat larger, better equipped forces. Fail to take these factors into consideration and consider only unit types and capabilities, and all other things being equal, the underdog will basically never win that game. Imagine for a second if you tried to create an American Revolution RTS game just by factoring in the capabilities of units.....clearly the Colonies would have lost.

Just some thoughts from a pseudo-grognard. Your game ideas sound interesting, keep us posted

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Omaha: I don't intend to do it better, I intend to make it so _I_ like the game more than others =-) I just hope that if I finish it, it ends up to my liking.

Kylotan: Yes, but it was not the same style as I plan to make my game at all. It was based on the first person shooter genre while mine will be based on the real time strategy genre.

munkie: While people can't say the ideas are absolutely scientifically bad, they can say they don't like the sound of my system, or that it sounds like a lot of fun. I had thought of doing a system like you describe, but the problem with that is that it would require awesome AI to pull off (which I am not yet competent to create) and it would take away from the influence the player has. Basically, in my game, the players will act as the commanders themselves. I will probably have a special type of unit that has a 'command aura' which slightly enhances all the units in a certain radius. I might even make it an upgrade per individual unit. I've thought about making each unit have skills that are researched per unit instead of per unit type. If I do that, one such upgrade would probably be 'Officer Training'. I might not put a limit on units, but then there is the chance that somebody will just sit in base for the first hour getting ten of each unit type. I want to make gameplay such that as soon as the first wave, people start using those few units to gain a hand. That way the gameplay would be continuous and not consist of massing for a while then attacking. I would like to make it such that leaving a few units at home base is a good idea, but keeping them all there is not. Perhaps I will do resources a little differntly than originally planned. Maybe if I put 'factories' on the maps that can be taken over by moving close that give extra resource points, it would encourage players to expand all over the map without having to worry about peon management. It would also be interesting to perhaps make it so that the enemy can take over a factory by attacking it (say, when it gets to 50% health it converts, and then it starts repairing itself. That way, if it was taken, it would be easy to take back since they would have to hold it until it recovered its health. If it only gets to 51% and they leave the position, then you can attack it and take it to 50% again easily and they lose it). I'm not sure what I should do. I need to encourage expanding, but not so much that its impossible to win without it. However, it should help greatly if one player controls 50% of the map and the other has yet to leave his base.

EDIT(his post wasnt there when I started =-):
Dauntless: 1) See reply to munkie. 2) That is pretty much what I plan on doing =-) 3) Well, the player is still god, but I want to make the point of the game be to use a few units effectively instead of massing a huge army and letting it fight on its own. 4) The game will not have epochs like most RTS do. Some units will require certain upgrades to be already researched, but there will be no massive upgrade that allows several new units to be built. 4b?) I'm not sure I understand the difference between what you're saying and the rock/paper/scissors method of unit selection. It sounds like you are saying one has to pick the correct unit for the situation, and also use it correctly. That is what makes different units important. You can't expect a soldier wielding a rifle to 'kill' a building, but he can take out other soldiers fairly well. Thus, when you are facing enemy troops, you use units that are effective against troops. If you want to kill a building, you use something like a mortar maybe. Of course, if you just send a mortar first thing vs the enemy buildings, then they can use their few soldiers to easily kill it, since it isnt very effective against very small, fast-moving targets. If you could please clarify what you meant on this issue. 4c?) I might add in attributes like fatigue, morale etc, and make units move slower, have less accuracy, etc when exhausted. I could do as wc3 did and implement a day/night cycle, and even allow units to sleep (though I would make sleeping something the player has to tell them to do, unless they reach so much fatigue they cant stay awake). It would allow things like night raids while enemy soldiers are sleeping etc =-)

More comments/suggestions please =-)

EDIT #2: I just figured I ought to mention that I intend to make my game modable in the same way that Half-Life was: The core engine and a few support routines will be all that is in the exe, and ALL the actual logic will be stored in a DLL. Since I plan on releasing all the source to the whole game anyways, the only reason I'm seperating it is to make it easier to mod. One won't have to dig through the code of the entire game when trying to change just the game logic. And, it helps in case I decide not to release the core engine source for some reason.


[edited by - Extrarius on August 15, 2002 2:13:33 AM]

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i have a few suggestions for you... :D...

1,
with regard to the field of vision, i think you''re certainly on the right tracks but the arc should not ever make it behind the unit... at least not if it''s not a tank/vehicle with a rear gunner or something... however, to combat this and further improve the game you could introduce hearing to the game...

if a unit is approaching from behind and is very noisy, you''d naturally know it was there because you could hear it... if it crept up on you though (some sort of stealthy soldier) you''d be none the wiser and dead in a flash...

2,
i think it would be good if essentially everyone had access to the same technologies... it would be good if you could recycle any vehicles or armaments you capture and then use them for your own assaults... you could also be able to capture and interrogate personnel which could perhaps lead to increased knowledge about where the enemy is hiding out or what the scale of their force is, etc...

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Extending the vision behind units a little would effectively simulate hearing and 'feeling' the presence of enemy soldiers. It would be a very, very small amount that it extends behind the unit, so it wouldnt really be too far off. Really I can't think of any reason it would be helfull unless I make melee units, which I really didnt plan on. Basically what would happen is that each unit would have a small radius of vision like most RTS (but it would be very small, say 100 units in WC3 for ex) and then a cone would extend from that circle to the direction the unit is facing.

I planned on making everybody have access to all the same tech/units/upgrades. While the idea of different races is interesting for normal RTS, I think it would undermine what I'm trying to do with this game I'm planning, so there would only be 1 tech tree for all players, and there would be no distinction such as race/culture that allows only a small subset of units to be built. I was thinking of allowing a system like in empire earth in which players can spend a few "race points"(dont remeber what EE called them) to get a few minor bonuses to a certain class of units(planes, buildings, etc) or a slightly larger bonus to a certain specific unit type(bomber, towers, etc), but then I realized that would just be the same thing as a few free upgrades to start off with.

Interrogation of personel and capture of vehicles is an interesting idea, but I'm having a hard time trying to think of a good way to implement it since currently I planned on all units being lethal. I guess a special unit with a tranq gun could be used for interrocation/capture of personal (shoot a unit, and if you hit it there is a good % chance that it will fall unconcious. You can pick up an unconcious unit and take it to home base where in some amount of time it will reveal more info on the minimap for a short time, and maybe even make the unit convert to your side), but I can't think of an effective and reasonable way to disable a vehicle without destroying it. Maybe its just that I'm tired again (this time its 7AM and I havent slept since yesterday).

[edited by - Extrarius on August 15, 2002 8:06:20 AM]

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hmmm... how to disable a unit without destroying it... well... there was a game a while ago on the mac called something like escape velocity...

it was a sort of top-down "elite" type game where you''d go round shooting space pirates, etc... it was possible to keep their ship at a level where it was extremely weak without destroying it and eventually the pilot would bail out (though they sometimes decided to go down with the ship)... i think the same is true of x-beyond the frontier...

you could employ a similar system where you, on occasion, have the driver (or whoever) decide to make a run for it and abandon the vehicle... you''d then be able to nab it and take it back to base...

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First off... I think you have something really interesting brewing here, partly because I am designing a game pretty similar to what you have described.


Next, reinforcements arrive in waves. Instead of each soldier taking X time units to build, a player can queue up units and all the units queued up arrive at specific intervals (I will probably use 4 minutes as a starting number).


I''ve played a lot of Ground Control (RTT game) and in the multiplayer games it is possible for the host to set ''time between reinforcements'' and 4 minutes is a lot of time if you just lost your army of 20 units. I don''t know the scope of your maps but if you consider how much a player can do on four minutes with a gameplay that does not have harvesting...

For a RTT game you should make sure that the player constantly has something to do. Traditional RTS is fine since you keep you eyes peeled on the resources ticking in...

Btw. You should check out Ground Control, the Close Combat series to understand the advantages and shortcomings of RTT games.

::aggression is the result of fear::

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I''ve just had a few more ideas:
In addition to making the minimap always reveal everything vaguely (one or two troops together wouldnt show up, but if there was a group of 3+, it might show up as a small dot, the more together the larger the dot), I think I will also make a ''unit'' that is invisible and has a circular vision radius. It will be able to move through everything, but moves very slowly, and it represents a zoomed in version of the satellite information, and it would reveal exact information on the minimap (and make the area around it visible in the game also).

Since 4 minutes is a long time when you dont have any units, I think a simple solution is to allow players with no units left to click a button that reduces the time till respawn to 20 seconds or something like that, to allow those still with units time to select what reinforcements they want. Also, I planned on allowing a large number of players compared ot most other RTS I''ve played, perhaps 32. I''m somewhat changing my mind of the way the game is played to make it more like FPS games, where servers stay up all the time, and people can join the game at any time. If I did that, and implemented round play based on 20 minute rounds, and changed the time between waves of reinforcements to 2 minutes, I think it could be interesting. Also, if upon joining, a new player was given the proper number of points for the time in the round, new players would still have a chance. The only real problem with this is that it makes it a little more diffuclt to stragize because there is a time limit. It would also add a reason to expand though, since in order to win, you have to take out the enemy team pretty quickly.

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Somebody said something about resource control points.. I personally think that it is a great idea... But in addition to that, could whatever military unit that captured the point build a small outpost? Just a small defensive building... And in order for the enemy to take that building, they would have to destroy your outpost at that location. Just a thought.

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Extrarius-
What I mean is that in RPS style of play, the main consideration is knowing what unit or combination of units beats the other unit. In traditional RPS style, just like in the child''s game, Unit type A will ALWAYS beat Unit type B, etc etc.

However, in the real world this isn''t the case. Sometimes that infantry CAN beat the tank. In other words, the quality, leadership and context of a unit is not considered...merely than UnitA > UnitB. There are certain intangibles that are not represented by RPS style of play. Another example beyond intrinsic factors such as morale and leadership are external factors (the context) such as terrain. Infantry in a city are about as hard to kill as roaches. Ditto for swamps and jungles. Tanks fighting from a lower elevation are at a serious disadvantage against tanks from a higher elevation, etc.

What bothers me about RPS is that it becomes a game of matching up certain quantities and combinations of units....but how, when, and where they are used are not as important. When you factor in things like unit quality, leadership, morale, command and control, then the equation UnitA > UnitB may not always be true. The other simplistic thing about traditional RTS games is the lack of any sort of "endurance" for units. With a few exceptions, most games do not worry about ammunition, fuel, or unit fatigue. In a single shot mission, this may not be a big deal,but in a campaign you have to make sure that your forces have the stamina to continue the fight.

Basically my beef with RPS focused games is that they focus on none of this, and make up for depth of gameplay by creating a zillion units or 10 different races. The focus is on the units capabilities, and not HOW to use them.

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While I agree with what you say, I''m unsure as to how it would be effectively implemented in a game. Some of the ideas would be easily implemented, as in the tank on low ground vs a tank on high ground, but things like leadership are difficult to model at best (at least from the way I''m thinking). I''m thinking about implementing ammunition as a stat for units, and each unit can only carry so much for the weapon (or 2) they use, and maybe a little more of a type they dont use that they can give away. It would also give vehicles a new use. There could be supply vehicles that can transport ammunition from the main base building to troops located all over the map. A helicopter and a supply truck would make 2 good units for this purpose: the helicopter is faster, but it has a small capacity, while the truck has a larger capacity but moves more slowly. The helicopter could also attack. Is this a good idea in your opinion? If so, should the main base (and possibly the factories that can be captured for more resources) have unlimited ammo of all types, should they have a limited amount of ammo that is refilled each wave, or should ammo have to be bought along with units?

If you have any specific ideas on ways to implement what you have said, please keep posting about it because I''m going to need a lot of help with the ideas on this =-)

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quote:
Original post by Extrarius
I've just had a few more ideas:
In addition to making the minimap always reveal everything vaguely (one or two troops together wouldnt show up, but if there was a group of 3+, it might show up as a small dot, the more together the larger the dot)...


I think that is a great idea... it would seriously hamper with players 'nesting' in one part of the map and just waiting for the enemy to arrive... Another twist on the minimap feature would be to display moving units on the minimap... movement sensors and while at it dont forget weaponsfiring...

Leadership could be implemented similar to the Paladin's auras in Diablo II... being close to a leader gives them better accuracy, firepower, armor. The better the leader the greater bonus or.. larger aura radius.

quote:
Original post by Extrarius
Since 4 minutes is a long time when you dont have any units, I think a simple solution is to allow players with no units left to click a button that reduces the time till respawn to 20 seconds or something like that, to allow those still with units time to select what reinforcements they want.



Why have a button to reduce the time? It serves no purpose.. have it done automatically =)


::aggression is the result of fear::

[edited by - grimjack on August 16, 2002 4:08:19 AM]

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The reason to have a button is mainly for team games. Especially in large games, it becomes important. Imagine a game with 32 players divided into two teams of 16 each. If they play together well, they will compliment eachother''s strategy with units that fill in for the weaknesses of the other players and the units they chose. For example: Player 1 on team A is responsible for artillery, and begins moving his unit across the map. After a few seconds of movement, they come into the field of vision of a few enemy snipers strategically placed. The snipers easily take out the slow moving artillery units, and player 1 is left without any units because he didnt diversify and move the units skillfully enough. Now there are 15 people on team A that still have units, and 1 that has none. The teammate could click the button to get troops quickly, but then his teammates wont have the time they need to get ready for an assault on a factory owned by team B. However, if his teammates were already in place or close to it, he could click the button with no worries and make the next wave come several minutes sooner.

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The idea sounds similar to mine. For my game, I''ve totally eliminated any buildings and resource management. I took it a step further and I''ve prevented the creation of new units. The number of units you control is never huge, 16 is a reasonable sized army and 20 would be around the max.

Now, as for justifying my descisions:

Why no new units? I figure that with a system like you described, soon, the played will decide that one unit is an uber unit (as much as you try and balance it), and will only create that unit. Once the unit cap is reached, any units which aren''t the uber-unit will get sacrificed so they can be replaced. Which brings me to the next point - the value of a unit is greatly increased by making them irreplacable. Every single unit is looked after.

Why so few units? It was suggested above that rather than capping the units at a small number, to allow lots of units and have them organise themselves in platoons. Instead of this, I decided to just make each unit significant, so that they have a power even if they aren''t in a platoon. When you think about it, if you have a platoon of a certain size, the other team will probably have a platoon of a similar size and the extra numbers will just cancel out.

Finally, if you want to check out how it plays, there is an alpha version at the website emoticonvb.cjb.net. It has a fully playable level, and uses some of the concepts discussed, so it might be alright for just checking what it does to the way you play. I found I was actually a lot more likely to use my units together more than I would normally, the long range units would do the bulk of attacking, while the others would try and stop the enemy from getting to them.

Trying is the first step towards failure.

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quote:

hmmm... how to disable a unit without destroying it...



In Z, by the Bitmap Brothers, you could get Sniper units who could shoot the drivers out of a tank, letting your guys take control.

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ragonastick-
For a truly tactical level of gameplay, you are probably on the right track by not allowing any sort of in game unit building. Tactical level games by definition are small scale battles, and hence, the player is actually only controlling a small number of units and is probably low on the officer totem-pole. Therefore it would make sense that the player does not have the capacity to order new units to be built....though perhaps he might request a certain amount of reinforcements. But the amount and availability will never be certain for the player in the best of worlds.

for all-
I think an important distinction should be made here on the concepts of tactics vs. strategy. The way I see it and can best describe it....strategy are the ends and the plans, and tactics are the means and ways to get to that end. It does not necessarily mean, large-scale battles vs. small scale battles, but the connotation usually implies so. For example, you could have two fighters go against each other. One fighter''s strategy might be to wear out his opponent, since his opponent is stronger....but also more fat than he is. Conversely, the other fighter''s strategy is to close in and grapple with the other guy as soon as he can. The tactics used by each (for the first fighter, dodging evading, and throwing long kicks...and for the 2nd guy to rush in, feint, and use trapping techniques) will be in large part dictated by each sides capabilities...not just as individual units, but how all the units are used together synergistically and holistically.

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