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stilltjack

The new 3D RTS games

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stilltjack    122
Howdy Folks, I''ve played a few of these new 3d rts games such as wc3 and empire earth, and i was wondering why they would go to all the trouble making it 3d only to severly limit the camera rotations. Is this to preserve the genre''s style, or due to some technical reason? If it''s not due to a technical reason, I can''t fathom why they would place these restrictions. Being able to rotate in any direction would make the game far more immersive. -stilltjack

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Chentzilla    122
When you turn the map, you can actually lose the orientation. North becomes south, and so on. Yes, it''s spectacular, but about as useless gameplay-wise as zooming in on an individual unit. (Notice the "in on an" - what a wonderful alliteration!)

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Sandman    2210
Probably the main reasons for the move to 3D is that it makes the developer''s life easier.

Every time you create a new unit in 2D, you need to create a high poly model, texture it, animate it, and then render each frame of animation from 16 different angles. This gets even worse if you want the players to be able to choose different resolutions to play the game in. The result is a ridiculous amount of content that the developers have to create, and the player has to have sitting around on his hard drive.

With 3D, you just need to create a low poly model and texture it. Animations can often be shared between many different models. Not only do you have to do less work to create it, but it looks good from all angles, in all resolutions, and you get to take advantage of things like animation blending.

In an fast paced, competitive RTS game like WC3, having to wrestle with complex camera controls would totally kill the gameplay. The rotation and zoom features are really just bonuses, things you get for free when you have a 3D engine, rather than essential gameplay features.

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Cestps    122
Actually, the buildings in Empire Earth only have one side rendered. You can see this in the map editor, which allows you to rotate the camera. The buildings always face you, just as the corpses in DOOM.

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How many nukes could a fat duck duck if a fat duck could duck nukes?

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kapru    100
my rts im adding a nifty feature that lets you diretly controll a unit and view the world from that units eyes think of it like this you send all your tanks up to the enermy base and the take control of a commando letting you use the units to its full ability no body steal my idea please as its coyrighted to bullshit inc.

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Grimjack    122
Kapru: check the game Dogs of War... it was an rts game and you could go into first person mode...

::aggression is the result of fear::

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Peon    276
A nice gimmick, but little practical value, I think (unless you could control the individual unit like in an FPS; that would be somewhat interesting)

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Buster    100
A while back a Star Wars RTS (was it Rebellion??) had a free floating camera and it really sucked. I could never tell which way I was sending my guys.

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Matto154    139
quote:
Original post by kapru
my rts im adding a nifty feature that lets you diretly controll a unit and view the world from that units eyes think of it like this you send all your tanks up to the enermy base and the take control of a commando letting you use the units to its full ability no body steal my idea please as its coyrighted to bullshit inc.


Actually, I''m not sure if you''re aware of this, but you cannot copyright ideas. I''m not going to steal the idea, but I just thought you might want to know, for next time you want to post an idea you don''t want to be stolen. I doubt you''ll have any problems anyways, but you never know.



Divinus Entertainment
Land of Relics Art Director
http://divinus.net

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Dauntless    314
The Total War games have a very free-roaming camera (not a true 6 degrees of freedom but still much more than other games).

I think depending on what you want to stress in your game, how you work the camera is of greater or lesser importance. If your game focuses more on nation-building than actual fighting, or if it''s more strategic than tactical, than there''s less of a need for a 3d system to have a truly free-roaming camera. However, the more war oriented and more tactical it gets, then the more important being able to see every nook and cranny becomes.

Personally, I think AI should be smart enough, that it knows the environment as well as or better than the player. Afterall, strategy games aren''t supposed to allow you the player to know precisely what''s going on through the commander''s eyes....just the gist of it. With my own personal game, I''m trying to move away from that God-like notion of the player having absolute access to, knowledge of, and control of his units. Part of being a good leader afterall is dealing with those limitations.

So 3d can help the player visualize the world, but it only has to be enough to give the player a good reference so that he can plan situational advantages/disadvantages better. But if the AI is good, it will know what "good" and "bad" terrain is for different tasks (open terrain for speed, hilly or covered terrain for defense for example).



They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin

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JasonA    152
It''s an awesome idea, kapru... and from your post I assume you were just joking ("its coyrighted to bullshit inc."), but, just in case you don''t know, the idea has already been done in Dungeon Keeper
It''s a great idea though, I really wish more developers would use it. If I ever create an RTS, that would definitely be a feature I would include.

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FieroAddict    122
I always liked the camera controls in the Myth series. They were very straight forward and made watching the battles fun. The only thing I found wrong with the camera in War3 was that you always feel like your playing at 640x480 no matter what res you are really playing at. I think Age of Mythology pulls it off pretty well. A lot of RTS 3D games get the angles so wrong that the games are barely playable because you have no field of view.

Like was mentioned before, the main reasons for going 3D would be hardware acceleration, nice graphics for less work (1 model instead of a million sprites). And I would imagine that realistic physics could be applied much easier in a 3D environment.

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Luctus    584
You guys ought to try Ground Control..their camera system ruled completely, it''s by far the best I''ve used (and yes, it even let you watch the terrain from a squads view)

hm..wonder why that game went by so unnoticed as it did..it was rather good I recall..


-Luctus
Statisticly seen, most things happens to other people.
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rhouve    122
In response to the FPS/RTS posts of several people, there is a game currently in development called Savage that incorporates these two genres. It''s built primarily for team play in which each team has a player who acts as the commander and sees the world from the traditional RTS perspective and all of the other players play as the soldiers. As I understand it the various players can change their role (ie the commander could become a soldier and vice versa). Looks rather promising, if anyone wants more info I think they have some on the major game sites (gamespot, gamespy, ign).

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