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The FPS-RTS

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Basically I''ve become intrigued by this idea and wanted to hear some input on it. Essentially what I''m thinking of is an RTS in which the player is in fact a commander on the ground, who generally does not partake in the hand to hand fighting (of course they can - with whatever weapons they can acquire). The idea would be that they can build structures and units much like any other RTS but which have the sorts of scales one might expect compared to an individual human. Basically what I''m wondering is, could this conceivably be done? The success of games like C&C Generals leads me to believe that it could be, since they utilize a fully 3D landscape, and hence path-finding and such could be rationalized in a similar sort of fashion as they do. Of course there are still other issues - but what does everyone think of the idea? ---- flying starfish

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I think Renegade was something along these lines...?

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It could work - though it depends how much of each style you want to borrow - do you want the player to be stopping and starting as they select units and give them orders or do you largely automate everything and give the player only a limited input on the action.

Do you let the player only control one unit - or do you have the others automated and the player swaps which one they control at any one time....

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I think we need a FDQ (Frequent Design Questions) to go with the FAQ as this RTS+FPS suggestion seems to pop up fairly regularly.

I think the Battlezone remake from Activision attempted this (although in that you did take part in the action).

The key is the interface. How does a player in first person view position a building behind the one that is currently filling their view or on the otherside of the hill or the far end of the map. How do you select the unit that is behind a building/unit/across the other end of the map.

If you have to leave first person view and go back to third person (RTS view) then what is the point? RTS games are so fast paced that you wont have time to sit in first person view admiring the shiny 3D buildings. You need to be controlling your buildings and units wherever they are on the map.

What do you get from first person view and how do you control the game?

Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions
Game Development & Design consultant

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Maybe have a look at Natural Selection, a half-life modification.. though multiplayer it comes pretty close to what you''re describing..

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Haven''t any of you played Sacrifice, by Shiny Entertainment? That game was heaps of fun, and was an incredibly successful (IMHO) attempt at putting the player directly into the battle.

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Ok, I sortof know what you mean. I am sortof making something sortof simialar to what you are talking about (and yes, I do know that ''sortof'' is not a real word).
The player is going to get bored of his head if he is walking around in a warzone, holding a gun but cannot fight because he has important organizing to do. Also, sopose the player choses to send a bunch of forces somewhere (via a map or something as such)... he wont even see what happens to them because the attack force quickly dissapears over a nearby hill. Then two minutes later the all-so-annoying ''unit lost'' music starts (''unit-lost-unit-lost-unit-lost'' remember good-old C&C) and the player knows that his forces have got into a battle, but what can you do? The forces are miles away, and you cannot see what the hell is going on. Imagine it. You could tag along with the attack force but the what if your base is attacked? Understand the flaws?
When I said I was making something similar to what you are discussing, here is what I ment. My game is a 2D top-down view action/wargame, where there are two teams fighting for control of a map. Each team is a group of 4 platoons, and each platoon is made up of five to eight soldiers(AI). One soldier in each platoon is the platoon-leader. He tells his men what to do with simple talk-commands such as ''Move out'' and ''Take Cover''.
Here is a real-time stratergy (so there is no base-building etc, but by defenition my game has a huge stratergy factor and plays in real-time) where the player is actually placed into the battlefield. The player can chose to join a platoon, or he can chose to lead a platoon. Either way, he is just one of the many soldiers.
So here is this sort of thing, and it works well, it is fun to play. What you need to realise is that as soon as you put the player onto the ground his commanding abilities drop dramaticly, and therefore you need to dramaticly reduce the amount of cammanding you player is requirred to do. You can''t expect the player to do the same stuff he would do in a traditional RTS. I have minimised the commanding the player must do in my game to a mere platoon-level. Instead of ordering a whole army arround the player orders a whole six men. And if the player dies in combat, another soldier takes over leadership.
Of course what you could do is have the player be able to switch between overhead and ''action'' views/modes, as seen before, but then why would the player want to give up overhead view for first-person? All I am saying is that you won''t be able to make a full-blown RTS as a FPS, it won''t work. You can, however, make a FPS with good stratergy/leadership elements in it.
And now I am wondering why the hell I wrote so much...

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