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Luke Miklos

features for an RTS...

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hey guys, I'm working on an RTS game & I'm still making early design decisions. What graphical features would it be nice to see in such a game? reasonable ones that is. :) It will be 3D with a good amount of camera freedom. I'm gonna use a simple height field with tiled textures (& transition textures) with perhaps a small amount of shading. I decided against texture splatting (more random & realistic). The models are being made in blender & exported into an MD2 format with keyframe animation. I already have all the game-state handling & event handling written & I'm using GlGooey for a user interface for the menu modes (main menu, in game menu, level editor, etc...). The war units/vehicles will be much like the US military during the latter half of last century (not completed yet) & I already have a nice particle engine to handle most of the explosion/smoke effects. I'm thinking about ground effects (small craters where explosions occured) & of course damage decals too (perhaps ones that fade slowly over time). I'd really like any input or suggestions you have, whether its gameplay or graphics related. thanks -Luke

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I'd really like to see infantry powered up. In most games it's totally useless. Sure, the average soldier should not be able to take down a tank, but soldiers should be able to hide quite easily and they should be able to move on all terrains.

I remember of a game in which troopers were very flexibles in that manner. There was a mission in which you had to destroy a building in the enemy base. Aircrafts were not avaiable. Vehicles would get destroyed by the massive amount of turrets at the only enemy gate.
The simplest thing to do was to send some troops behind the enemy base by following a path in the forest. Since they were very small, they travelled very fast so, even when engaged in combat, they were able to flee.
While they get to the point, build some artilleries. In that game, artillieries were very long range. Say they could cover 1/5 of an average map quite easily.
When the infatry gets behind the base, there were some rocks. No vehicles could get past those rocks and estabilish a LOS with the building. Now that the LOS is here, artilleries started to fire and mission were accomplished.

Wow. The most interesting tactics ever seen in a RTS ever.

I'd also like to see walls and gates as fully recognized buildings, but if they take a load of credits to build, then leave them alone.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I really like a few RPG elements in a RTS campain like hero attributs or item collection.

Original post by Luke Miklos
The models are being made in blender & exported into an MD2 format with keyframe animation.

Just a thought but since the RTS you are making is on a terrain, you might have a problem with infentery walking on slopes with key frame animations, since you can't position the legs correctly.

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great idea, I agree... infantry (more like seals & special ops) should be more powerful / used more. I am definitely incorperating artillery into this game... what a huge factor in US military strategy. So of course infantry will be good for site-spotting. I'm thinking about various upgrades or special types of infantry one might obtain during a game. For example... equiping them with armor piercing shells or even explosive tip shells. The different infantry would be specialized & perhaps really good at fighting one type of enemy (amored vehicles, aircraft, or other infantry) but perhaps really bad at the others. This of course has huge analogies to the Terran units in Starcraft... hmmm...

I'm not sure how far I'm going to go with various buildings/walls/gates or even tank spurs (think D-Day on the beach) for the first release. I want to start simple... although a helicopter will be in the initial release (as well infantry, tank, & artilary).

I know exactly what you mean about the problem with keyframes & walking up or down slopes. The front leg will stick into the slope & the back leg will be hanging out in mid air (or visa-versa for going downhill). I will address that issue later & perhaps come out with more advanced models that have various keyframes I could use based on the slope they are walking on.

As far as more RPG elements... I still haven't decided on the gameplay characteristics. I mean... how does one win the game? How does one develop his forces? Is an economy built? Does taking over more territory automatically give you more resources to use? What does the tech tree look like? Is there a tech tree? I would really like this game to encourage map exploration & scouting (something lost of many many RTS games). So perhaps item collection or discovering rare resources on the map could lead to more advanced or built up units that have special capabilities (or just more powerful). Would you care to explore your idea of more RPG elements more? any ideas?

Perhaps because I have already decided that artillery will be used, this assumes that your force will currently be supported by some type of established post. Maybe this will be off-map, maybe not. So perhaps part of the game could be... the player has a budget, & expending more ordinance/men for an earlier mission means you'll have less for following missions. & of course you could bolster that income by conquering more territory & finding rare resources. Does that sound good? I dunno :)


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