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berserk

turn based or real time

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In this thread I''d like to hear some opinions on pro''s and con''s of turn based strategy games and real time strategy games. I personally prefer turn based strategy, like Civialization, Alpha Centauri, Master of Orion, Panzer General, and many more. However, it seems that real time strategy games are more popular these days. Is it because of the multiplayer aspect? Turn based games suck in multiplayer cause you gotta wait a long time to process a single turn. Other than that, I think turn based strategy is more "strategical" - it''s less about "super fast mouse clicking skill" and "I know all the hot key combinations". Turn based strategy gives player more time to carefully choose what to do and the player doesn''t need to worry about getting attacked while doing his turn, or worry about some units going out somewhere without his notice. What do you guys think?

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Turn based takes more strategy and is more realistic, but real time requires faster reflexes. Depends on what you like. I think both of them can work in multiplayer as long as you set a time limit for each turn in a turn based game.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I prefer turn-based for ANY game that has multiple units under the player''s control.

RT is very dependent on decent AI. If the units have inactive AI, then the player must do everything. In some cases, the units won''t even respond when attacked, and will just stand there and be killed.

On the other hand, if the AI is too active, the units will go racing off to attack, often times destroying the player''s strategy. Plus, the player begins to feel like he''s not involved in the game...the units are destroying everything that moves before the player can even respond.

Getting this balance right is very difficult. I can only think of a few games that accomplished it.

Turn-based games mean the units are totally under the player''s control. They do exactly what the player wants; the player wins or loses based on the player''s skill and tactics.

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I think the main reasons for RTS games being more popular is simply that most people don''t have the time and/or patience for TBS. While I like very complex, intellectually challenging games and don''t particularly mind if a session takes many hours, virtually none of my friends enjoy this in a game. A game of Alpha Centauri (still my favorite) will usually take several days of multi-hour sessions to complete, and that''s not what people expect of a computer game.

It''s probably not multiplayer implementation difficulties that make the audience for multiplayer TBS smaller, but rather the fact that the audience for TBS games in general is smaller. But awkward multiplayer implementations doesn''t help, of course.

Besides having a smaller potential audience, a good TBS game is arguably more difficult to design. Allowing the player to analyze his actions for a relatively long time makes the game mechanics much more obvious in a TBS. This presents some interesting challenges for the designer; any flaws in the game mechanics and AI will be more easily discovered and exploited. While a solid, well-balanced design is important for all games, a novice TBS player will be able to analyze details in much the same way that expert RTS players do.

Players also expect a pretty high degree of depth and realism in a TBS game. These expectations will usually translate into a need for complexity. When you add more complexity to the game, the design and balancing problems will be even harder. One problem is the amount of control to give the player: give too much control over details, and the game will be a micro-management nightmare. Give too little, and the game will feel like a simulation. Either way, the player gets frustrated.

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I prefer how Turn based games require more forethought and require a deeper level of thinking, but I also like real time for the immersion factor ( it feels like the battle is really unfolding).

In terms of gameplay each has their advantages but I think real time is more popular due to what spock said about the time-crunch factor, and the more immersive feeling one gets from battles happening on the fly.

I think you can create a hybrid game that captures both the feeling that you must act under pressure, limit time, and also introduce the immersion factor of watching battles unfold in real time. What I had in mind is basically a turn based system where you give orders to units. You have a pre-alloted amount of time to order all of your units and if you exceed this time, all units you did not get to will simply hold position and defend. Once the order giving phase is over, the battles unfurl in real time, and you can try to influence units actions, but it will not be automatic.

What's really at issue here is the player's attention. Both the span of his attention and the focus of it. Turn based games offer a situation where the player who is easily bored will become frustrated. However, if a player has a short attention span, you can not offer so many things that he has to focus his attention on that you overwhelm him with choices (i.e. trying to manage an economy while building an army AND fighting on two fronts simultaneously!!). Game designers who do not factor in attention span AND attention focus will surely create a game that will only frustrate the players.

[edited by - Dauntless on September 11, 2002 7:53:15 PM]

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Alpha Centauri was also my favorite game. Too bad my game CDs got stolen

As Dauntless mentioned, one way to do multiplayer TBS games is to set a time limit on how long each game turn lasts. All players can move at the same time, so it''s like every player is doing his turn at the same time. Battles can be initiated in the middle of a turn, but they are resolved only at the end of the turn. What do you think is a reasonable time limit for each turn? 2 minutes? heh

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G''day,

Has anyone played Battle Isle: Andosia War? This game shows a great mix between RT and TB. You move your units and what-not in a turn based fasion, and when the other player is moving his units you build your base in real-time. I think they did it very well and the game was only really let down by some annoying bugs. I suggest you all have a look at least at the demo for a way of mixing the two together.

I would suggest thinking of how you could mix the two up in your own game and see what you get. It would certainly be a departure from a lot of the clones or both RT and TB games that are coming out.

Doolwind

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Personally I prefer TB over realtime as it allows me to enjoy coffee in front of the computer while I ponder my next move.

However I think that the TB market is much smaller than for realtime games. As someone above mentioned, many casual gamers don''t have the patience to play slow TB games. They want instant gratification...

Does anyone have a slightest idea of the sales figures for Fallout: Tactics? It is a TB/Realtime game and even if it is using an already established brand it would be interesting to see how it did...

::aggression is the result of fear::

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quote:
Original post by Dauntless
What''s really at issue here is the player''s attention. Both the span of his attention and the focus of it. Turn based games offer a situation where the player who is easily bored will become frustrated. However, if a player has a short attention span, you can not offer so many things that he has to focus his attention on that you overwhelm him with choices (i.e. trying to manage an economy while building an army AND fighting on two fronts simultaneously!!). Game designers who do not factor in attention span AND attention focus will surely create a game that will only frustrate the players.



Couldn''t have said it better myself.

I think it is possible to combine the depth of Turn based with the immersion of realtime, but it isn''t going to be easy. Interface is extremely important - it needs to be clean and simple to use, but powerful enough to let the depth of the game shine through. The pace of the game is also very important - too fast and the depth gets lost behind tank rushes and braindead strategies, too slow and players get bored.


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