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Dwiel

RTS gameplay you'd like to see implemented

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Hello, I am working on an RTS, and was brainstorming on gameplay features that I could include. I figured if I brought the brainstorm here, I could get considerably more ideas When I come up with an idea, I ask myself how much gameplay it adds, and if there is a more simplistic way of representing the same thing? Basically, I try to simplify the idea down to as simple as I can with-out loosing the intended added gameplay. Some Ideas I have so far: Customizable units - there are an infinite # of uinit types you can create. Gives players more flexability when designing an army/platoon/etc... VERY IMPORTANT here that there is a very simple interface for creating these... also, attributes need to be very self-explanitory. See my other thread from quite a while ago: RTS where Players create custom units Daytime/Nighttime transitions - at night, it is hard to see unless you use ''artificial'' vision such as radar, heat, radio(sent by the unit you are seeing) etc. Allows players to launch surprise attacks. When creating units, must think about heat/radar signiture if they plan on using them durring these times. Terrain - The terrain greatly effects the abilities of a unit. If in a gully, it cant see into the next gully (obviously ;P), when in a gully/ditch, harder to see with radar. As altitude increases, so does the ability to comunicate. Snipers can be placed on tall mountains and can see/shoot a long distance... units hiding in the gullys of mountains can''t be seen by it though... It is very vulnerable and any communications/heat/radar it transmits gives it away... Ability to intersept communications - If a player doesnt encrypt their radio signals, or if the encryption is broken by the opponent, that opponent can see where each unit is planning on moving/doing.... A player can send a command unencrypted so it can be intersepted, then send a different encrypted method. The opponent thinks that he knows where he can ambush his army, only to find he is ambushed himself... etc... What other ideas do you have that could be implemented into an RTS as to allow the player to use more stradegy/planning than would be available with-out... following my ''guidline'' as stated above. also, if you would like to critique my ideas, feel free ;P Thanks! Dwiel

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Hi,
This sounds good so far. The ability to be a sniper is one of my favourite parts of modern RTS''s, which probably means I should be committed, but I like the sneaky, covert feeling it gives when done well.

The only real suggestion I can think of is this: It''s bound to have been done before, but it irritates me greatly in many games when I can only group together units by keyboard shortcuts if they are of the same type. It would be nice to be able to arrange all the units of whatever type in a formation at some waypoint or other before beginning the assault on the enemy city. For this at it''s simplest level, the ability to group miscellaneous units together for easy access with the keyboard would be important.

To go a little further, you could have a sort of war room or satellite mode to set out specific parts of a plan. If you want to blow up some enemy installation, it would be good to be able to give commands almost on a macro level. Specify in what order which units are to attack which structure i.e. destroy resource collector, once completed, move on to factory, etc. For units emulating a shell firing behaviour, it would be nice to be able to specify where exactly on the terrain they should sit while they fire, so the terrain can be used strategically, as opposed to the more open "attack this from wherever you like, feel free to mingle with the enemy''s crack troops" approach. Such a list set out for each set of units would be very handy. If things go wrong, have a big red button to retreat all units. Small craft weaving between your big tanks to defend them from nimbler opponents would be a very snazzy feature. Perhaps I''m getting carried away, but the defence AI in most games seems pretty poor, and being able to let one set of units defend another while it was attacking would make all geeks-who-would-be-king drool.

Most of this probably isn''t feasible, but you did say brainstorming :-) Good luck with the project.

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1 problem I''ve always had with RTSs: How the hell does your footman see 360 degrees around him? Have a line on sight at about 60 degrees, and have them look around on their own when idle to stop cheap attacks from behind.

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I think comuniations would be good to include. You have to build radio towers or some such thing. In order to comunatinacte with troops. Units outside your com range can not be controlled by the player.



-----------------------------------------------------
Writer, Programer, Cook, I''m a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project
Chaos Factor Design Document

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I''d like to see a rts with a heavy focus on the ''s''tratergy element. I''d like to play a game that is as much about tactics and manouvers as it is about technology, expansion and building units.
I think battles should be won or lost depending on the player''s skill, not the amount of units he has. Tactics such as flanking (would this not work perfectly with jerubaal sugestion?), covering and supressing fire with heavy automatic weapons while the assault force attacks, bombing enemy forces out of cover and into the open with artillery etc - these should make the difference between a win or loss.
Perhaps troops should have more independace that typical rts games - I am sick of seeing my units walk blindly to their deaths. Men should scatter and take cover when under fire, relocate themselves (only slightly) constantly during combat, and take shots at the enemy equally as much as they shelter from gunfire. Is it not boring to watch as your men stand still and fire constantly at the enemy while taking fire themselves? Of course, this would mean a heavy AI load on the machine.
And for in-game unit design - take a look at Earth 2150 (great game) and see the pefect example (Warzone 2100 also feature customizable units).

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quote:
Original post by Tazzel3D
Customizable units - there are an infinite # of uinit types you can create. Gives players more flexability when designing an army/platoon/etc... VERY IMPORTANT here that there is a very simple interface for creating these... also, attributes need to be very self-explanitory. See my other thread from quite a while ago: RTS where Players create custom units


I''ve sure I''ve said this before, I''m of the opinion that ''customizable units'' is one of those game features that always sounds like a much better idea than it actually is.

It does depend somewhat on the exact details of the implementation, but there are a number of problems with it in my opinion:

1. Balance is exponentially harder to achieve the more options you have. And it only takes one ''ultimate combination'' of options to allow a super unit which can completely dominate the game.

2. Design distracts from strategy - in more ways than one. If you design your units in the real time portion of the game, then that''s another thing that is diverting your attention from squishing your enemy. Even if you design them away from the actual battlefield, outside the real time gameplay, part of the challenge of strategy games is learning what you can acheive with the units available to you, and how to acheive it. If you can just redesign your units at the drop of a hat, this challenge disappears. It''s the limitations of your army that make things interesting, and having fully customizable units lets you remove those limits at a whim.

This isn''t to say it could not be implemented successfully though. The way I envision a successful implementation would be something like:

Each race has access to *very* different technologies, thus meaning that each race has distinctive strengths and weaknesses even with full customizability. ''Stealing'' technology might be possible, but the stolen ''alien'' tech will never be quite as good as the original.

Customization takes place outside the real-time portion of the game. Players would have persistent ''accounts''. Between games they could earn a certain amount of resource points (perhaps dependent on the outcome of the games) Which could be used to research new technologies, or develop new unit types.

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I still like Close Combat 3''s idea of buying units between battles into the player''s fire brigade. If you could make something like that together with player designed units it would surely be quite fun.

However, as was mentioned the balancing issue is a rather hard one. I played the game Warzone 2100 for a while, and in its campaign the concept was to gain technologies from enemies during missions. This usually resulted in the following:

1. Get a Heavy Machinegun turret that is better than a Machinegun turret.
2. Get a Light Cannon which is better than a Heavy Machinegun.
3. Get a Rocket Launcher which is better than a Light Cannon.
4. Get a Medium Cannon which is better than a Rocket Launcher.
5. etc.

While combined armies was possible and used, technologies usually became outdated very fast. I usually kept a few mortars in the back lines and machineguns and flamers for infantry, while the cannons fought off armoured units and AA guns shot down aircraft. All the local variety of components was unnecessary though, mainly because no one will really notice if there are twenty types of anti-tank weapons that are barely different. Don''t overdo it is my advice.

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