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nickmerritt

RTS Space style

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nickmerritt    122
I in the design stage of writing a RTS but since I have no fancy 3d modleing progamme i can''t get any good iso art so i desided to make in a top down view in space. This eleminates the problem of not haveing art and simplfys the AI for path finding. How ever it takes some of the gamplay out because i can''t have grass,cliffs in space. However i can have nebulas and stuff. I need some ideas to make my terrian. Any ideas?? Nick

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Sandman    2210
This is one of the things I disliked about Homeworld - the lack of interesting terrain.

You''ll make your life a lot easier if you just ignore realism and aim for making the game fun. Nebulas might be able to hide your units, asteroid fields might only be navigable by small fighters.

You could also do some interesting things with gravity wells, having them affect the trajectory of some weapons, and affecting the speed of your ships.

Of course, the scale will be all off, but in real life space is very boring, and very empty.

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Dauntless    314
In my game design, I can''t see space battles happening out in the deep of space. Partially this is due to how I see the technology of FTL travel but also for logistical and strategic reasons.

In terms of technology, basically ships either "teleport" to their destination, or they travel via a warped space (like folding space on itself). In either case, neither fleet would meet each other out in "space".

For strategic and logistical reasons, fleets will congregate where there is something to protect. In other words, they will congregate around planets or other important sites (perhaps an asteroid belt for mining). Basically this means that you know where the other fleet is going to be going after....you just might not be sure about the priority of the targets.

So in my game fights will almost always take place fairly close to a planet. In fact, so close, that fleets will have to worry about gravitational pull of the planet. Why so close? Because there are only two reasons that a fleet will go to a planet....to invade it, or to destory objects on the surface. In either case, the warships will have to enter very high earth orbits and drop interface ships (drop ships or landers in sci-fi parlance). It is during this phase that warships will be at their most vulnerable. Also, if warships want to do Ortillery attacks (a phrase I picked up from Jon Tuffley''s Dirtside II game which stands for Orbital Artillery) they will also have to be fairly close to the planet.

So I might suggest having a huge planet as the focus of your "terrain". You can even include gravitational effects for the movements of your ships if you''d like. I personally didn''t think Homeworld did a good job of 3d movement. You could not change the X, Y or Z axis movement (pitch, yaw or roll) of your ships. A cool tactic I had not thought about for spaceships I learned while reading some BattleTech novels. What a damaged warship could do is "roll over" on it''s longitudinal axis so that the "port" side was now its "starboard" side. Or a ship could also do this to do a double whammy broadside attack. I think Babylon 5 really did space combat right in the feeling of its realistic physics movement. I think this is more important to a Space RTS than terrain is personally....but I can see how just black space could be boring (and even B5 had lots of spectacular nebulas as backdrops).

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