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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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