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Ganryu

RTS resources v2.0

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One year ago i posted a thread here for the discussion of an alternative resource gathering method in an RTS. This is the same idea but reworked (thanks to the response and ideas i got in the old thread) GAME STYLE Scale wise similar to Tiberian Sun and any of the newer Westwood games. The normal RTS controls system. The player can set up fortifications and unit production facilities (perhaps this can somehow be incorporated in a better way in the resource system), there are no resource generating/storing buildings. THE MAPS Each map is split into smaller sections and each section has a corresponding flag in the center. Whoever controls the flag controls the area. Quite obviously there are no flags on water areas (unless there are water units in the game). RESOURCES (Money, credits, whatever you want to call it) Resources are given to you with regular intervals based on how many flags you control. This can represent being paid by your superiors based on your progress. An alternative would be to get a set amount of UNITS with regular intervals based on the same factor. We ignore the unit based alternative for now and look at the resource gaining more closely. As someone suggested in the old thread resources are NOT added per flag, ie: you don't get a fixed amount per controlled flag, instead you get a fixed amount base on the amount of flags you control according to a graph. Flags controlled, Resources gained per update (example graph) 1 - 500 2 - 750 3 - 1250 4 - 2000 5 - 3000 After the first few controlled flags the amount of resources per flag is increasing. This means basically that the first few flags won't make much of a difference, but when you start reaching the larger amounts one flag can make a big difference. You can also change the system so that the gain per flag slowly decreases the more flags you control. This would make flag controlling less vital in the middle/late part of a game match. Even more interesting is making the amount of cash gained per flag entirely based on the amount of neutral (non-claimed) flags on the map. That is, the less flags that are neutral, the more money you earn per controlled flag. This makes it so that in the beginning flags are less important as the amount of resources gained per flag is low, but as players slowly claim more territory, the controlled flags becomes more and more valuable. If two players each control a half of the total amount of flags, even ONE flags difference could mean win or loss. As i said earlier i also thought of replacing gained RESOURCES with gained UNITS. That is, you never earn money, instead you are sent reinforcements based on your progress... Details on how you actually control a flag will be added later. (please excuse my somewhat lacking english today) [edited by - Ganryu on December 2, 2002 9:27:55 AM]

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Hmm. This sounds very limiting. Why not make a normal RTS with the capabilities to create a custom map like this? This sounds exactly like those "zone control" maps in Starcraft.

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Fuzztrek: Maybe he wants to make something a bit more original than yet another ''Normal'' RTS?

However, I am intrigued by these ''zone control'' maps you speak of... I''ll have to try them out.

Ganryu: You have to be very careful with the shape of the growth curve. If one flag can make too much difference, then the balance is too easily upset - just losing one flag might mean the end of the game.

My gut instinct tells me that the amount per flag should decrease as more flags are controlled. To get it right though, you''ll probably want to do some playtesting. (it might be worth firing up SC''s map editor if you can do this sort of thing with it)

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Thanks for the feedback so far

FLAG CAPTURING
To control a flag, a player needs to move a unit close to it (structures do not count). When a unit is moved close to a neutral flag it will be captured.

If a player leaves a flag without units nearby the flag it will still count as you''re controlling it. This means that capturing a flag and then moving units away from it will not make you loose control.

To capture an enemy''s flag you must be the only player with units within the flags "capture radius". Then the flag will shift owner. If more than one players units are close to the flag (non allies) the flag is considered a "front" flag (i need a better word for it). Front flags do not count towards controlled territory.

Example:
Player A captures flag F and places units close to it. Now player B moves his units towards F and starts fighting A''s units. This flag will not count towards any player''s flag total until ONE player controls ALL units close to it. If the battle ends with B''s victory, then he will control the flag (unless A wins)

In short:
A unit close to a flag will capture that flag unless there are enemy units around, in which case the flag will belong to no one until the fight is over.

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quote:
Original post by Sandman
Fuzztrek: Maybe he wants to make something a bit more original than yet another ''Normal'' RTS?

However, I am intrigued by these ''zone control'' maps you speak of... I''ll have to try them out.


Sure, but I say more is better. Why not make a game that can do all this and more? Seems like you would drastically limit your audience by creating a game like this. This is practically exactly like zone control.

Zone control pretty much goes like this:

You get one square to start. Your square produces one unit a second. After you get so many units, you can go and attack other people''s squares. You get so much money for every kill you make, and if you get 250 minerals you get a science vessel, which can take over unused squares. Then that second square produces units every second, so you have double the amount of units. You keep on going like this until you destroy veryone elses squares (usually marked by a bunker or something similar). You can also upgrade your units so that they are more effective, etc.

I dunno. To me your game sounds an awful lot like zone control. I think what most people want in games is different mechanics instead of levels. Thats probably a poor choice of words, but you see a lot of posts around here that are mostly about the way the game functions instead of the way it is played.

EG: Most people discuss unit behavior, terrain, movement, AI, and stuff like that. I am very interested in new ways of increasing resources (or new ways of harvesting, etc.)

I''m not totally against your game, I just think it could be much more creative. At a certain point you have to say "Is this game a totally inovative new RTS or a completly other genre?". Most RTS''s let your harvest lumber, build units, attack, etc. However some people seem to think that using these 3 parts of an RTS is copying. To me it''s the way RTS''s should be made. It''s like if you called "The Sims" a first person shooter because you can make people slap each other. It doesn''t make sense.

- Fuzztrek





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Ganyru,

Have you played Z:Steel Soldiers (and its sequel)? It is a strategy game where you take over different zones of the map and get more resources if you have them...sounds exactly like what you are thinking, and it was pretty cool (put a bit of a new spin on the labouring RTS genre).

I don''t want to sound to negative but it seems as though your line of thinking is taking the current RTS resource collection paradigm and limiting it even further.

1. You are taking the three or so normal resource types and compacting it back to 1, that being "resources", rather than wood, gold, oil etc.

2. You are replacing gold mines/tiberium or whatever with a flag. This cuts down on strategy in a number of ways:

i. Instead of needing resource gatherers you just "get" the resources automatically, no tactical attacking of the supply lines to cut off your enemies resources.

ii. Linking back to 1, instead of thinking "I need wood, and the only forest left is over near the enemy, this will be a tough challenge" you will just say, well I need resources, why bother going near the enemy when that flag over there will do just as good.

3. It seems to encourage rapid growth and "tank rushes" rather than any greater strategy. If you exponetially get more money for flags then you will just send all your tanks out to start taking over new locations, as they do this you will get more money and therefore more tanks and it would turn into the player that can move their tanks to the flags the quickest wins, this would only serve to increase the tank rush epidemic in current RTS games.

Anyways, I just wanted to pose those thoughts and see what you think. Given these things though, the RTS genre does needs a complete overhaul and your thinking is certainly going to help.

Doolwind

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"i. Instead of needing resource gatherers you just "get" the resources automatically, no tactical attacking of the supply lines to cut off your enemies resources."

Did you read my second post?

If you have units within a certain radius from a flag it won''t generate income for that player. IMO this encourages players to go agressively against nearby enemy flags as that will mean that player gets less income that way...

Thanks to something you pointed out i will now rehaul the flag capturing system!

TO CAPTURE A FLAG v1.5
To capture an enemy''s flag you must be the only player with INFANTRY units within the flags "capture radius". Then the flag will shift owner. If more than one player''s INFANTRY units are close to the flag (non allies) the flag is considered a "front" flag (i need a better word for it). Front flags do not count towards controlled territory.

If a unit in that radius is under enemy fire, ie Artillery or other long range weapons the area will also be considered as a "front" flag. (i''m not sure about this part)

I was also thinking of having a specific unit for capturing flags, but this will take the game in a far too restricted direction i think.

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This had been to done to absolute DEATH in Warcraft 3 and Starcraft "Zone Control" and "Madness" maps.

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Doolwind''s post gave me another idea.

Perhaps you could enforce connectivity for all captured flags: ie for a flag to ''count'' you have to be able to draw a direct path from that flag to another flag without crossing enemy or contested terrain.

Depending on how things go, you could potentially wipe out a large portion of your opponent''s resources with by parking a unit in a strategic spot.

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quote:
Original post by Ganryu
Did you read my second post?

If you have units within a certain radius from a flag it won''t generate income for that player. IMO this encourages players to go agressively against nearby enemy flags as that will mean that player gets less income that way...



Yeah I did read it, sorry if I didn''t make myself to clear...

I meant that all you need is units in the area to get the money. There is no need to transport any actual resources back to a base. If you want to stop someone from getting the resources at point A the only strategy you have is to destroy all the units at point A. In current RTS games you can do that, or attack the resource gather or destroy the mine/tiberium itself etc. It just seems to be limiting the strategies avaialable without actually giving any positives.

What is the difference between "capturing" a flag, and having units in the area to defend the resource gatherers going to a mine? It just seems to be stating the obvious, that you "control" that area. And in doing so limits the strategies of "controlling" a resource (your only option is by having more troops in the area so you can fend off any attack).

Does that make a little more sense?

Doolwind

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