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FPS/RTS hybrid, anyone?

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I was reading azari's post on FPS innovation, when a short idea came up to me- Why not a multiplayer game where each side plays a different genre? It would probably go this: Side A plays a FPS. They have to assassinate a powerful enemy unit/retrieve an important object/blow something up. Naturally, there would be a handful of enemies to fight. Side B tries to stop Side A by playing an RTS. That means that if they create a unit and order it to a location, Side A would have to actaully fight the unit there. If Side A blows up a bunch of resource nodes, B would have less units to fight with. If Side B clusters a handful of missile launchers around an important structure, Side A's mission just became harder... So, what do you think?

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I've thought of something along those lines sometime ago. I envisioned it being used in something like System Shock, with one player as SHODAN, with Camera's and other units revealing Fog Of War, and other players running through the hallways in FPS, hacking consoles and shooting enemies trying to beat him. Just another one of those things in the back of ones mind. ;D

There are a few games that allow RTS to control FPS, i think allegiance (if thats its name) is one of them, where there's 1 (or more) player(s) called "The Investor", who builds/buy's starbases and refineries and the such. He directly controls harvesters and builder units, but all the fighers are controled by FPS players which he gives waypoints and objectives to, such as defend area A, or intercept hostiles B, etc. Some MMO's higher functions involve such tactical operations as guiding fleets of people in co-ordinated assaults, but none of these pit RTS Vrs FPS directly.

I think the idea has enormous potential if implemented correctly, as RTS folk could lay traps and plan defenses against people who's pasttime is to break through defenses and traps, generally being unpredictable and ruthless. FPS's would probably also enjoy the varied and unique tactics and moves the enemies make, increasing replayability considerably.

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Random players share about as much discipline as most clan members you will find. Online gamers are not professional solders, and should not be expected to behave like professional solders. They hold no value in the life of their own video game persona and hold an equally low value in the importance of winning, especially fps players.

The FPS guys will not follow through with orders given by the RTS guys, as learned in allegiance. Commanding in allegiance was one of the most pathetic displays team work imaginable.


Of course, being an optimist I am designing team work into my game ļ

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Heh, forgot to mention how impossible it is to even get your teammates to defend your airbase in battle field Vietnam, or to get them to stop waiting for choppers and to start capturing flags.

If you can pull it off, I will pay to play.

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Quote:
Original post by SquareDanceSteve
Random players share about as much discipline as most clan members you will find. Online gamers are not professional solders, and should not be expected to behave like professional solders. They hold no value in the life of their own video game persona and hold an equally low value in the importance of winning, especially fps players.


Then it might be useful to have a small reward for winning. For example, if it was played in a series (this is only for example) like counterstrike, each side would get more experience points they can spend on weapons, upgrades, and units. You would get points for destroying structures and killing a lot of uinits (FPSers) or killing an FPSer or catching them in a large trap (RTSer).

Quote:

The FPS guys will not follow through with orders given by the RTS guys, as learned in allegiance. Commanding in allegiance was one of the most pathetic displays team work imaginable.


The FPsers aren't given orders by the RTSers. They are opposing teams.


Quote:
Of course, being an optimist I am designing team work into my game ļ


Good Luck on your game.

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Anonymous Poster:
http://www.s2games.com/savage/

Savage, anyone?


Kinda reminds me of natural selection with commanders on both sides.

The thing with savage is that its FPSers and RTSers versus FPSers and RTSers. In addition, the only real powers commanders have is the ability to build structures and place items (or control beast workers). As I said before, it seems a lot like natural selection.

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Original post by Guimo
Then maybe it can work if one RTS player bombarts an army of FPS players.

Luck!
Guimo


(For future reference, This idea is purely theoretical. I'm still working on Win32.)

That could work, but I was thinking about have very powerful FPS players and normal RTS units. Since the FPSers would be able to pretty easily defeat the RTS units, RTSers would have to be more intelligent in their unit/trap/building placement.

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That sounds fun. It can provide very interesting challenges to both sides. The RTS side can be challenged by much greater unpredictability than facing one player and the FPS side is essentially challenged by a group intelligence rather than a string of uninteresting encounters.

Oh there is much fun to be had with this.

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While the RTSer's could have alot in their arsenals (traps, lighting controls, doors, units), it's a tricky matter to balance unit strength's versus player strength's. A good method might be to have a selection of creatures with varying attack styles and strength's, and then rely on the players ability to manipulate and disorient the FPSer players to augment the weaknessess of his forces.

I'd gone into some depth on the abilities to fight FPS's in such a system, the most idealistic (and difficult) would be something like Silent Hill, were RTS'ers could mess with the players head using lighting and folded space. Being able to create 'halucinations', or switch character models to disorient the FPS's into shooting each other. Divide and Conquer as it were. ;D

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Yeah, that is a really nice gameplay idea (I thought about that idea already a few months ago), but I guess it will be very hard to pull off.

1. It basicly requires to programm both types of game, and I fear only a commercial dev team can pull that off (and they are usually not known for this kind of innovation).

2. It will be very hard to balance such a game :(

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Well, we were just having a discussion about something like this over at the Paradox Entertainment forums (creators of Europa Universalis and Hearts of Iron).

What we were discussing was a WW2 game that combines all sorts of different levels of a command hierarchy, ranging from a strategic commander to actual foot soldiers. So what you could have is some people managing a nation's resources, technology, and production, then allocating these resources to different military divisions, whose commanders could allocate them to lower level units. People would issue orders, depending on their rank, and these would then hav to be executed by lower level players.

This would create interesting scenarios when you have a division commander begging his superior for more supplies and ammunition, while the superior feels as though the supplies are needed on a different front.

Ultimately, you could have all different levels, all the way down to an FPS.

The incentive to perform your orders is that by performing well, your rank increases, allowing you greater command.

Though this sounds like it would be an ambitious project, it seems like a perfect community project to me, as you can break the game into smaller "sub games" that just interact with each other using predefined interfaces, meaning that the actual sub game oding can all be done completely independently.

Anybody interested? :)

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The biggest danger I see in your idea, mcandw, is that you'd need a lot of players to make it feasible. Moreover, you'd need something like 1 general per every 5 lieutenants per every 10 grunts to get even close to some reasonable officer-soldier ratios, and that means that there's only one person doing one third of your game, and 50 people doing another third. In other words, you'd need to make the grunt's job fun enough to keep people interested in the game, while simultaneously making the higher-level jobs worth competing over.

It's a good idea, but I think you'd need MMO-level organization to make it work.

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Quote:
Original post by Dakar
I was reading azari's post on FPS innovation, when a short idea came up to me- Why not a multiplayer game where each side plays a different genre?

It would probably go this: Side A plays a FPS. They have to assassinate a powerful enemy unit/retrieve an important object/blow something up. Naturally, there would be a handful of enemies to fight.

Side B tries to stop Side A by playing an RTS. That means that if they create a unit and order it to a location, Side A would have to actaully fight the unit there. If Side A blows up a bunch of resource nodes, B would have less units to fight with. If Side B clusters a handful of missile launchers around an important structure, Side A's mission just became harder...

So, what do you think?


I love the idea in theory (Mechwarrior meets Total Annihilation would be my favorite), but the major challenge I see is that the FPS player has double the work of the RTS player. Both players must constantly look at the map to determine their strategy, but the FPS player is handicapped by having to manage combat in six degrees of freedom. Theoretically, the RTS player just selects a bunch of units and tells them to attack, but the FPS player has to aim, reload, watch his/her back, find cover, etc. If you look at the player's decision making time as finite, it may be that the RTS player will be able to overrun the FPS player unless they're very good at using team tactics.

Another thought: Unit control inside of structures might be very difficult for the RTS player, so they'll need some good bot AI.

Also, you'd need to design the rules in such a way that the RTS player can't simply "rush" the FPS players or the FPS players will get constant Serious Sam gameplay with no real tactical value. This I think is a huge problem because the RTS gamers I've encountered seem to whine when someone employs a very effective strategy like feinting and ambushing or a "little roundtop" defense. I guess they expect the units to just run at each other in the open field until one side dies.

Personally, I love the possiblity of having VERY smart enemies guided by a human. I've long thought that this is how MMORPG should be run, with players able to play heroes or ever increasing tribes of monsters.

One last thought: Dungeon Keeper promised something like this then scrapped it for straight RTS gameplay. Anyone know why?


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Quote:
Original post by Derakon
The biggest danger I see in your idea, mcandw, is that you'd need a lot of players to make it feasible. Moreover, you'd need something like 1 general per every 5 lieutenants per every 10 grunts to get even close to some reasonable officer-soldier ratios, and that means that there's only one person doing one third of your game, and 50 people doing another third. In other words, you'd need to make the grunt's job fun enough to keep people interested in the game, while simultaneously making the higher-level jobs worth competing over.

It's a good idea, but I think you'd need MMO-level organization to make it work.


Agreed. The only way something like this would be plausible is MMO style.

WW2-Online is sort of similar to this idea, though it focuses primarily on the FPS side of things.

Well, I can still dream...

EDIT: I must say though, that by allowing higher-level players access to the grunt-like work, as you refer to it as, means that you will ensure that everyone will be satisfied, as the FPS players can stay at the FPS level if they choose, even if they do progress through the ranks, and strategy gamers can be content making bigger decisions, while passing the time with smaler tasks as well. Make it backwards compatible, I say... :)

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Original post by Wavinator
One last thought: Dungeon Keeper promised something like this then scrapped it for straight RTS gameplay. Anyone know why?


I was going to mention Dungeon Keeper. It is in there, or at least in part two it is. You can walk around your dungeon. Dunno if they ever promised that players could play the heroes, that would have rocked.

About overruns: the main advantage the FPS players have is their intelligence. Bot AI is kind of taxing on the CPU, specially if there are going to be lots of bots. I'd say the bots should be rather dumb (serious sam dumb) and give the RTS player the task of setting up ambushes, etc. The FPS player does not need to play strategically at all, if he has enough skills. The RTS player should observe his behavior and adjust his tactics. Think of the starcraft missions with a handful of terrans, and imagine its just one but very agile and fast.

is he running in with guns blazing? set up a big ambush and lure him.
Is he advancing from cover, checking each corner? try to flank him.
The maps would be very important. I think it's a pretty cool concept. Double the work to implement though.

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I think the overrun problem could be fixed in this game the same way it's always fixed in single-player FPS games: The FPS character(s) come equipped with some kind of bizarre technological advantage. The Star Fox team had Arwing Fighters, which could blow the doors off of most cruisers, and so they could stand a chance against fleets of lesser craft. Master Chief has his Mark VI Mjolnir armor, letting him take on hordes of elite warriors. Take a cue from Warcraft III's hero system. Levelling, respawning and unique upgrade systems can make one character vastly superior to another, and so they can become tactically viable.

A single RTS player against a small team of FPS players would be really neat. The balancing would be possible using the balancing techniques of either genre, or even tweaking it from both ends. FPS characters could be balanced with health, speed, weapon and ammo limits, and the RTS player would naturally have all the resource economics to contend with.

You could even have the gameplay LOOK totally different. The FPS world could be a high-detail environment filled with doorways, corridors and sundry cover, while such things would be represented to the RTS player as icons on a map.

In fact, the first thing I thought of when I saw this idea was some way to set it up for the Nintendo Gamecube, so that the FPS player(s) would be on the TV in split screen mode (up to 3) while the RTS guy was on a GameBoy Advance plugged into the fourth controller port. His screen would be a map view version, filled with icons and shortcuts, while the other three would have to creep their way through the game at eye level.

By the way, this is what I thought Halo was going to be when I first heard of it. Too bad.

Edit: Remember the Commando unit from Command & Conquer? I always loved doing missions with that guy. His superior range, kill power and health made it possible to vaporise large groups of enemy soldiers, if you could just regulate distance and keep out of dangerous areas. And that C4 ability, for destroying buildings... Ah, nostalgia. "That was left-handed!" Heh.

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Yeah, you could "possess" one of your units in Dungeon Keeper (and i perfered doing so for hacking at defenses), i would have liked to have a better Hero setup as an actual opponent than being spawned from "Hero Gates" tho.

Adding a technological or skill based advantage to FPS players is probably the key point. The best (and most expensive) Units might be the most skilled, like nightmare Quake Bots for instance, but the majority of other units would be unintelligent and not employ much strategy when following orders. Then there's the FPSer's abilities to quickly pickup health/powerups, and switch between weapons as needed. Not to mention that you could implement a Fog Of War so he can remain undetected, being able to surprise, feign and lure away enemy units to gain access to area's or create traps of his own. ;D


RTS / FPS:
"Shhh! I'm Hunting Wabbits!"

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also, localised damage.
Your average RTS grunt should aim according to some numbers and random throws, while the FPS player will depend entirely on his skill, landing lots of headshots everywhere. Picking weapons is also a big advantage.

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I think these are the problems people posted (tell me if I missed any of them):

FPSers has to fight battles, but the RTsers can just send swarms of units and forget

Maybe it could work like this: Whenever a FPser kills a unit, he gets a small number of points to get an upgrade. It might not be much, but when he's slaughtering swarm units by the dozen, it adds up pretty quickly.

Might cause a RTSer to rethink his strategy. ;) (It might also encourage tactics: Do as much damage while losing as few units.)

Building AI would be difficult to manage

For some reason, every time I imagine an FPS/RTS scenario, it takes place in a building with machines as structures.

It might work as such: Unit's can only enter structures which use units; For example, a tower with a compartment with clear view of the field, so that ranged units can have a party.

FPSers could not enter them, only destroy them. They could, however, shoot at exposed units.

(Variant: If an FPSer enters, say, a tower, he is transported to the top. After fighting what is there, it provides a perfect spot to take out a sniper rifle).

The RTSers would just rush with units

See top for one reason.
Another might be that if too many units are clustered together, they suffer a mob penalty: some might trip over others, most wouldn't get a clear shot, some might just shoot anyway and hit other units, etc.

A few other thoughts:

In addition to units, The RTS players (Or player) would obviously have access to building abilities and traps. Most likely the traps would have to be laid down by a special unit. (On the other hand, a piece of artillery could probably launch some mines into the air, which activate on landing. Instant Minefield)

While shooting is fun, there could be some maps that emphasize stealth. (For example, the RTSers would have lots of resources, and there would be quitea few spots where somebody could go unnoticed.) Perhaps there could be some emphasis on equipment over weapons. (Don't waste your ammo cutting down the swarm. Cloak and do something to trick them into believing you are really several hundred meters to the right.)

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Another possibility to the Mob Pentalty is Area Effect Weaponry for FPS's, like Rocketlaunchers and Grenade launchers. Grouping your units together at that point would be more of a problem than a solution since then the FPS could wipe them all out fairly quickly.

The equipment for the FPS could also be varied, giving him a wide selection but only allowing him to carry a limited amount. So he would have to choose between low armor cloak armor with limited inventory, or a high armor assault suit bristling with pockets. If the player wants to avoid confrontation or play stealth, he can avoid enemy units and patrols field of view, hiding in the RTS's Fog Of War regions. I've seen something along these lines with how Planetside balances its playerbase.

On the other hand, you could put these limitations on the RTSer's units, and make the FPS player Rambo like on Doom 3 and Quake.

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[quote name='RolandofGilead' timestamp='1104668216' post='2843152']
That sounds fun. It can provide very interesting challenges to both sides. The RTS side can be challenged by much greater unpredictability than facing one player and the FPS side is essentially challenged by a group intelligence rather than a string of uninteresting encounters.

Oh there is much fun to be had with this.
[/quote]


I played a game called battleswarm that played along these lines. 2 people control bugs from spawn points launching several different grunts bugs and assigning attack locations and whatnot, while 6 other people play as humans with a variety of guns, grenades, and mines. There was several game modes ranging from survival of the human base, capture the flag, destroying bug hives. It was cool to play bugs, I had trouble on my weaker computer playing the human side. Last time I checked there's still some player base but it's been a while. I've been looking for a game that competes with this and savage.

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Whoa. I just got hit with a wave of nostalgia. I like to think that the guys who developed BattleSwarm saw this thread, perhaps while they were learning to read, and were inspired to start a career in game design after studying the ancient text that you just posted in.

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I had an idea for something like this once ... the majority of the players play a Hexen style class-based FPS while another player plays a Dungeon Keeper style RTS, one building up a dungeon to thwart the first group while the they have to get in and defeat the 'heart'.

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