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Hey all, I'd like to know what everyone feels about rts "stuff". I'm just going to list a bunch of things off and everyone can answer yes or no (or provide a lengthy explaination using very complicated words that really do not have any relevance to the topic if they absolutly *must*) to. Anyway, here they are. Remember quality is not a factor, so just assume it would be fairly well executed.
  1. How do you feel about weather effects? (such as rain, snow or wind)
  2. How do you feel about weather effects effecting units? (and/or buildings)
  3. How do you feel about natural phenomena? (such as earthquakes, tornadoes, or cyclones. This also includes the common thunderstorm)
  4. How do you feel about natural phenomena effecting units and buildings?
  5. How do you feel about a day/night cycle?
  6. How do you feel about day/night cycles effecting unit behaviour? (such as smaller sight radius, etc)
  7. How do you feel about game time (can be in sync with real time. eg, the option to show the day/night cycle (such as the sun/moon thing in warcraft 3, the real time, a clock, something.))
  8. How do you feel about 3D terrain? How about 3D terrain that makes you drool?
  9. How do you feel about terrain.. er.. elements? (such as water, resource integration (into tileset/terrain), hills, valleies, slues, etc)
  10. How do you feel about interface placement? (Most games have a rectangular interface, most games have it at the bottom, though some have it at the right or left side.)
  11. How do you feel about ambient sounds/music? Would you like to see birds (or appropriate animal/unit for tileset) flying around?
  12. How do you feel about the involvment of neutral units in a rts? Such as creeps in warcraft 3.
  13. How do you feel about heros? (such as in warcraft 3)
heh, phew! thats a lot. just answer yes/no if you want. I know it isn't the grammatically corret way of answering a question such as these, but it's much easier . Thanks!! fuzztrek ¬_¬ [edited by - Fuzztrek on November 18, 2002 10:15:49 PM]

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The ones that caught my mind were nighttime visibility and ambient creatures. Those I think positively of.

I don't think incredible 3D terrain is necessary - I'm more interested in how my units are going to be limited by or how they will interact with the environment.

Interface placement could be a choosable option.

The rest, I am neutral about.



[edited by - Waverider on November 18, 2002 6:40:47 PM]

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// WARNING! THIS POST MAY BE A BIT LONG!

I like the idea of day and night cycles but I don''t want natural weather occurances for anything other than cosmetics. Tornadoes sweeping away units or buildings are random and really don''t make the game fair. Using them as Hero/God powers though is cool. I like control and I hate losing it.

As far as 3D terrain it doesn''t really matter to me but I think 2d would be better. Only because I''ve seen nothing but crappy 3d graphics when it comes to RTS games. With the exception of Warcraft 3 all the models are when zoomed in and textures are pretty bland as well.

I think interface is very important, definatly available should be hotkeys and it would be nice if they were, in some way, customizable. I prefer it at the bottom rather than at the top due to personal perspective reasons. I usually scroll up and to me it seems that UI at the top of the screen would make me feel as if it is blocking my view. Maybe a side-sticking moveable interface would be nice.

I really like cosmetic extra like birds, ambient music and weather. It''s a big plus but often I''ll notice it a few times then forget about it so I wouldn''t consider it important unless you plan to make it effect gameplay somehow.

Creeps were a nice change in WC3, their also in Age of Mythology. I like it but I don''t think it should be on every map unless it is a main gameplay factor (WC3 "Creeping").

Heroes were also a nice part of WC3 but they can also become overpowered or make it difficult to provide balance. Heroes in AoM are toned down a bit to just being generally stronger units and the super ability thing was put on the myth units. I would favor one over the other but the two games are so different I don''t think it''d be fair.

As far as terrain, I think it''s a definate inclusion. Hills for height advantage and water for naval battles or natural walls, creating choke points adds to the strategic theme of the game itself.

/* Well I think I''ve covered everything, sorry about the length if you have trouble reading long things. */

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1.)Make it an option and light enough to where it won''t obscure vision.
2.)Intriguing.
3.)Too random to make players happy. "OMG the computer keeps earthquaking my base!" seems to be something that I''d hear in game. Maybe for a single-player campaign only.
4.)Read Above.
5.)Good. Ala Earth 2150 and WC3, good.
6.)Well, I really think Return of the King was the best of the books, but since you put it that way...
7.)Again, it''s all good.
8.)Syncing with real-time would be sad.
9.)Earth 2150.
10.)Earth 2150.
11.)No, maybe not, Fellowship definately had it''s merits over TT and Return, but I dont'' know what you''re picking at. Though we all have to agree, Two Towers was the low point of the trilogy.
12.)Personally, I''d love to see a semi-customizable interface. Something to where if you didn''t want to see something, you either didn''t see it, or only saw it when you needed it(unit command bar).
13.)Can add to the game environment.
14.)Balancing issues aside, a nifty idea.
15.)Balance issues galore. Nice if you pull it off, horrendous if you don''t.

-Ryan "Run_The_Shadows"
-Run_The_Shadows@excite.com
-The Navidson Record! The best film you''ll never see!

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Weather Effects-
Should only really decrease visiblity and perhaps weapon range. It would have quite an effect if you were making a WWI/II RTS, with your units in the trenches etc. But overall it is just a cosmetic thing.

Natural Phenomena-
Whoever had the brain wave of these things in an RTS needs to find a new line of work. Are we playing a strategy game or a game of chance?? When was the last time a squad of elite soldiers (in the real world) had a meteor land on them??

Day/Night-
Absoultely beautiful idea. I liked it in Earth 2150, but I feel it could be used a lot more. I think your strategies actually NEED to change during the night. This always seems to be promised in the next C&C game, until it comes out and everyone forgets they ever made the promise.

Terrain-
I believe that terrain should be important. Warrior kings did a great job of this, if you stick your archers on top of a hill they will easily kill a much larger group of archers who haven''t got the high ground advantage.
This is another factor which always seems to be advertised in RTS games but rarely delivers. The LOS advantage given is normally to small to notice, if you are on top of a hilll you should be able to see twice as far as someone who doesn''t have that height advantage.

Interface-
Although Tribes was a FPS it had an awesome interface, you could literally drag and drop your console windows/health bar etc anywhere on the screen.

Neutral Units-
If the engine can handle it, having heaps of civilians running around a city, for you to do what you want with, would be pretty sweet.

Hero Units-
I don''t like them personally. They are ok in fantasy games (warcraft 3), but no RTS that takes itself seriously should have these guys. It is similar to the "perfect" unit which RTS games need to steer clear of. Some people may argue that having a hero adds to the strategy, but I believe they do this in a negative way, so basically, I would steer clear of them.

Doolwind

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How do you feel about weather effects? (such as rain, snow or wind)
How do you feel about weather effects effecting units? (and/or buildings)


If it is just eye candy then I am pretty ambivalent about it. I suppose it adds a nice bit of realism to the game.
If it actually has an effect on the gameplay, then I think it could be very interesting. I don't want to see annoying and random effects (like PSWind's tornado), but things like fog reducing line of sight, rain and snow reducing movement,

How do you feel about natural phenomena? (such as earthquakes, tornadoes, or cyclones. This also includes the common thunderstorm)

How do you feel about natural phenomena effecting units and buildings?
I think these would be more annoying than anything else. I don't big random factors screwing up my game. I thought the worms in emporer were pretty annoying, for example.

How do you feel about a day/night cycle?
How do you feel about day/night cycles effecting unit behaviour? (such as smaller sight radius, etc)


If it gives rise to some interesting strategies, I'm all for it.
I don't think the penalties should be too severe though, or it becomes too difficult to fight and you end up not being able to do much for half the game.

How do you feel about game time (can be in sync with real time. eg, the option to show the day/night cycle (such as the sun/moon thing in warcraft 3, the real time, a clock, something.))

I would like to see slightly more consistent time scales than we see in games at the moment. The idea that it can take as long to build a building as it takes to kill an enemy or walk halfway across the map seems slightly absurd.

How do you feel about 3D terrain? How about 3D terrain that makes you drool?

I like 3D terrain, and I think it can potentially add a great deal to the game. However, I do not want to have to spend ages to learn the camera controls - they should be simple and intuitive.

How do you feel about terrain.. er.. elements? (such as water, resource integration (into tileset/terrain), hills, valleies, slues, etc)

Without them, the map would be pretty dull, wouldn't it? I'd like to see terrain have more impact on gameplay though, in many RTS games the terrain doesn't do much more than block line of sight and get slightly in the way of some units.

How do you feel about interface placement? (Most games have a rectangular interface, most games have it at the bottom, though some have it at the right or left side.)

As long as the interface is well designed and doesn't intrude too much on the main screen, I don't care where it is.

How do you feel about ambient sounds/music? Would you like to see birds (or appropriate animal/unit for tileset) flying around?

I think ambient sounds would be missed if they weren't there. However, I do think that these things could be implemented more realistically. Lets be honest, how many lions or tigers would just wander about aimlessly while gigantic tanks roll by and huge explosions erupting all around them?

How do you feel about the involvment of neutral units in a rts? Such as creeps in warcraft 3.

See above.

How do you feel about heros? (such as in warcraft 3)

A lot depends on how they are implemented. I haven't actually played WC3 yet. I think they could either be a worthwhile addition, a micromanagement nightmare, or horribly unbalancing.


[edited by - Sandman on November 19, 2002 7:09:26 AM]

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Hi,

here's my response:

  1. absolutely YES
  2. that's another YES
  3. YES (units yes/buildings not necessarily)
  4. absolutely YES
  5. absolutely YES
  6. absolutely YES
  7. YES (real-time:game-time ratio should variable with some clear indication if appropriate)
  8. YES (it's a necessity) / NO (does not need to have that good terrain)
  9. absolutely YES
  10. unprecedented YES for custom interface placement
  11. YES (but not necessarily ... RTS games are aimed at different parts of the world)
  12. YES (neutrals should be there for sure)
  13. NO (every unit may become a hero in RL )


hope this helps you


Petr Stedry

[edited by - Petr Stedry on November 19, 2002 7:17:45 AM]

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1. This is technology dependent, but if your game world is in a non-science fiction era, then weather is a good effect to have in a game. And I think many posters here who have said that weather is mainly cosmetic is thinking in tactical terms still. Russia has been saved 3 times from its incredible winters (vs. Teutonic Knights, Napoleon, and Hitler). The Japanese were saved from the Monguls by a typhoon, and the Spanish Armada was greatly weakened by a storm as well. The Germans did so well initially in the Battle of the Bulge because the Allies could not use its air superiority. So to think weather is just cosmetics is vastly under-rating the power of weather in a large scale sense.

2. See#1 above. As for how it will actually affect units, depending on the unit type, they may not be useable (aircraft during a storm for example) or may have mobility reduced. Also, if units were not properly equipped to deal with harsh climates, they may suffer morale or even physical damage (think desert or arctic campaigns).

3. Natural phenomena may be good in single player campaigns. However, undetectable phenomena may be resented by players. However, powerful storm systems will add an element of strategy to the game. My grandfather received a bronze star in WWII by rescuing the survivors of 3 DE''s that sank during the Typhoon of 1944, so things like this can have adverse affects on your nation''s armed forces.

4. See #3 above.

5. Depending on technology, this is a crucial element. Night fighting rarely occurred historically mainly because of the risk of friendly casualties. However, nightfall is an excellent means of escape for a beleagured side.

6. Again, largely dependent on tech level. However, this question does beg the question...what about unit fatigue? An army can not fight non-stop without rest unless its a droid army. Unit fatigue should be factor in all strategy games (IMHO)

7. If you mean show what time it is in the game, yes, this is a good idea so a commander can prepare accordingly.

8. I''m mixed on 3d terrain. It''s important for line of sight rules and also if you have air power, but otherwise, it''s mostly eye-candy. Now, there is a certain advantage to taking the higher ground, but this can be implemented in 2d as well, albeit a bit more diffucult (close combat had a good LOS system in 2d).

9. This is absolutely vital to a strategy game. A commander must consider the terrain he is fighting in to know what troops to use, and how to best manipulate his enemy. Terrain creates natural choke points, makes positions more or less easy to defend from, provides cover, makes movement more diffuclt, etc. Knowing when to attack and where is in many ways more important than what to attack with, since the answer to the first two really determines what to attack with. Too many games emphasize the "what" to attack with over when, where, and how to use troops.

10. Since everyone is different, I don''t think this one matters too much. Having customizable interfaces would be nice if possible though.

11. That is very tactically oriented in my book. If you the player can see minute details in essentially the first person, then the scale belongs to a tactical game. To me, a strategy game is a bit larger than life. I personally think it would be a waste of resources.

12. This is an interesting factor, and one that plays an important part in historical war. Either the player can ignore the neutral side''s stance and make a new enemy, or the players have to figure a way around the neutral country''s position. Look at how we are jockeying now to curry support for Arabic countries so that if they will not outright be against us if we invade Iraq, they will at least not retaliate.

13. This to me is also a tactical consideration. The only version of "heroes'' I would have are the officers commanding the units. Brilliant commanders will be favored over mediocre or poor ones. I do however think that elite units and the occasional heroic act are good as long as they are balanced on each side. I loved how in close combat sometimes a guy in a squad would go berserk and cut down a bunch of the enemy (I once saw a guy go nuts in one of my squads after being pinned down for like 10 minutes. What two squads couldn''t do to take down a mg42 position, he did single handedly...fun to watch too).

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Weather and sun cycles are nice, but distracting. They add a more realistic touch to the game, but if you have them affect the game units to much, it becomes frustrating that your giant, 2,000-man assault on the enemy headquarters fails because of heavy snow or you get killed by a midnight assault when your AI opponent can see it''s units in the dark and you can''t. It should probably only be included in deep, broad games.

-"The enemy is in front of us...the enemy is behind us... the enemy is to the right and the left of us...they can''''t get away this time!"-
-General Douglas Macarthur

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Wow, this is a long thread, and I havn''t read down through it yet so someone may have said this already, but I really like the idea of natural phenomena and weather. It''s not something I''ve seen in many games, let alone any RTS''s. It could be used well to help balance the various races in the game kinda like how Warcraft 3 used the invisibilty during the nighttime for the night elves.

3D terrain can be good. I like the warcraft 3 did their 3D, and the new game Impossible Creatures did it well too. I wasn''t too fond of Empire Earth though (maybe because of the high polygon count in the terrain and buildings.

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I would personally love to see weather effects in RTS games ... but it does require that you don''t overdo it (storms should only strike every so often ...), be consistent (don''t have things strike suddenly and at random; increasing winds and a faint drizzle that slightly decreases the units'' sight radius might give warning of a storm that will render your archers useless), and be fair. Within the context of an RTS, it might be best to have your weather (be it storm, fog, or earthquake) effect the entire map in equal measures, lest random elements incapacitate one player, thus effectively killing the other(s) off by chance.

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1. Sure, provided they''re well done.

2. Sure, again, provided they make sense and are implemented intelligently.

3. Will cows be flying around and doing damage to buildings? That''d be an unsuspected downside of natural phenomena...^_^ Seriously, I prefer non-random things. If it was a unit ability, go for it.

4. See above.

5. If it''s actually used and isn''t eye candy, sure.

6. This reminds me of a game called Dark Colony. The humans were more effective during the day and the Taar (aliens) were more effective at night. Better sight/combat, etc.

7. Don''t make it synch with real time. I don''t play games during the day so I''d have a handicap.

8. I don''t mind it, but it will not make me drool.

9. Uhh...doesn''t make sense.

10. Put it at the bottom and LEAVE IT THERE. Use a standard interface (map on the lower left, info in center, buttons on right). And make a LOT of hotkeys. Hotkeys good. No hotkeys bad.

11. Often they''re a distraction unless, for the animals, we can shoot them when we''re bored. Or, as in StarCraft, parasite them to gain their sight radius and so on.

12. Neutrals...I don''t care for ''em.

13. Heroes are bad. Heroes give a MASSIVE bonus to uber-l33ts that have played forever. I don''t mean a simple bonus like the person being better than the other poor Joe, but a quantifyable (sp?) advantage, and a gamebreaking one. A friend of mine has a maxed-out hero in WC3 and he can beat nearly everyone because of it.

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13. Heroes are bad. Heroes give a MASSIVE bonus to uber-l33ts that have played forever. I don''t mean a simple bonus like the person being better than the other poor Joe, but a quantifyable (sp?) advantage, and a gamebreaking one. A friend of mine has a maxed-out hero in WC3 and he can beat nearly everyone because of it.


I doubt you''ve ever played warcraft then, because heros levels are not permanent. You start out with a level 1 hero every game, and every game you level your hero. That''s what I meant by hero''s, a unit that does not carry over from game to game.

¬_¬

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Realism.
More realism.
Yet MORE realism.

*cough*
Thats my ideal.
It would require immense maps with thousands of units, along with deformable terrain(craters, etc).

Be at your scale.
Generals do not lead troops into battle.
So you arnt going to be hand-manging your troops.
You will manage battalions or platoons or armies.


Interface placement...hmm...
Customizeable, with default basically a SC/War3 interface.
It works really good.



Bugle4d

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Seeing the birds and other animals you hear would be interesting. They could also be used as a way to tell where your opponents are. If you see animals running away from a certain area (because trees are being cut down, etc) you would know that something''s happening there.

Heroes are interesting, but I feel that WC3 overdid it. I have litterally lost a full sized army and a level 6 hero to one hero with level 10. At that point, it might as well be an rpg instead of an rts. Of course, in Starcraft, they made little difference, so there wasn''t much of a point in adding heroes to the mission, other than story line.

3D terrain is nice and all, but it slows down some older computers. My laptop is 1.5 years old, and it lags once the battles start. What I''d like to see is more gameplay and less showy graphics.

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* How do you feel about weather effects? (such as rain, snow or wind)

When I first... uhh... "bootlegged" the beta, I remember that I lost a lot. Like.... every game almost. However, one in maybe every ten games, you''d start up a game at lost temple, and it would be raining. The sound and special fx where very soothing to me. But they took this out during the retail, and I was very disapointed.

* How do you feel about weather effects effecting units? (and/or buildings)

Maybe rain should reduce sight range, but don''t screw around with it affecting movement. Most players find it piss-offing enough they can''t retreat by CLIPPING THROUGH other units, so weather would just be annoying. Bad idea to annoy your players.

* How do you feel about natural phenomena? (such as earthquakes, tornadoes, or cyclones. This also includes the common thunderstorm)

I didn''t like them in Sim City, again, no one wants to lose to their opponents, so don''t cause them more grief by making them lose because they built their castle on sand!!


* How do you feel about natural phenomena effecting units and buildings?

I said NO!!!

* How do you feel about a day/night cycle?

I like the idea, but blizzard did a real lazy job on making it effect the game. All that night means is you can sneak past the creeps. That was it. It was totally underused. If you are going to bother adding a cycle in your game, MAKE IT DO SOMETHING! (maybe units that have DIFFERENT spells during the night and day or Ultimate hero spells that can only be used at day/night... seriously... how can you use starfall at dawn if the stars go away? =-)

* How do you feel about day/night cycles effecting unit behaviour? (such as smaller sight radius, etc)

That is good and all, but just make it visually noticable what time of day it is. Also, just a suggestion, add a real time clock to the game under your day/night cycle so people know how many days have gone by (giving them a better sense of time judgement in game).

* How do you feel about game time (can be in sync with real time. eg, the option to show the day/night cycle (such as the sun/moon thing in warcraft 3, the real time, a clock, something.))

Then the Koreans would be is disagreement with the US and Europe would be half a day off.

* How do you feel about 3D terrain? How about 3D terrain that makes you drool?

Just make it look nice and I don''t care how how much depth it has. Adding things like mountains and plateaus into your game is fun, but don''t bloat your map full of them. In SC, it was often a pain in the arse to navigate your way around the map.

* How do you feel about terrain.. er.. elements? (such as water, resource integration (into tileset/terrain), hills, valleies, slues, etc)

Just make it look nice. That''s all that really matters. If you can get away with making good looking terrain without adding a "wheat field" terrain square, you do that.

* How do you feel about interface placement? (Most games have a rectangular interface, most games have it at the bottom, though some have it at the right or left side.)

It belongs at the bottom. Just look at Windows9x and UNIX-style GUI''s. They all have their task bars at the bottom. However, after a play learns the hotkeys for your game, the only use they have for on the GUI is to select their view on the minimap and deselect units from a group, so you could in theory even make POPUP menus for all unit commands.

* How do you feel about ambient sounds/music? Would you like to see birds (or appropriate animal/unit for tileset) flying around?

Waste of CPU cycles =-) Hehe, actually, just make sure they are noticable and that you have an option to disable them. Game music is always good, but for the love of Blizzard! make sure you have a decent sounding soundtrack! I HATED the music for war3. Maybe give each race multiple sound tracks later on so the player can cull the ones they don''t like (and then you can add more music in later patches... another reason to play your game =-)

* How do you feel about the involvment of neutral units in a rts? Such as creeps in warcraft 3.

Creeps are an important part of War3, but they do interfere a lot with pathfinding. So many times I am in battle, and my rallyed troops enter the "creep battle arena" (and usually lose). The creep''s have one super IMPORTANT purpose: THEY GIVE THE PLAYERS INCENTIVE TO LEAVE THEIR BASES. In Starcraft, you only left your base to A) expo or B) attack. If you don''t implement creeps, PLEASE, find a way to reward players for leaving their bases!!

* How do you feel about heros? (such as in warcraft 3)

Warcraft3 added to RTS''s 3 things as far as how battle played out:

1) Autocast spells. Now you don''t have to be a 6-armed Korean to be able to play like the pros! Good idea if you are going to give simple AI "use it or lose it" spells to the game.

2) Longevity of units. In SC, a battle with 8 vs 8 marines ended in seconds. One volley could kill a marine if they all targeted one unit. In War3, it''s like all units have 10x the relative amount of HP. Giving the human players a REALISTIC amount of reaction time to save their pitiful units'' lives.

3) Heros. Heros are probably the most important upgrade for RTS''s. They reduce the infamous "fodder effect", where each player repeats a refined cycles that goes:
1) Build army
2) Send army to death
3) Rebuild army

Now, with heros, you have more choices. Do you target the enemy''s hero to force them to retreat? If he catches on, he will retreat, and it may cost you more in the battle. What if he has a health potion? Then you''re screwed.

Oh well, that''s my 2 cents.

"You TK''ed my chicken!"

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