Sign in to follow this  
Citizen Pain

Space/Ground RTS multiplayer game

Recommended Posts

I had an idea earlier to day while watching an intro fmv for the (fairly old) game ground control. Not much of a design at the moment more the basics of an idea and i was wondering what other people thought. Essentially it would be set in the future where man has collonized the stars and split in to two star faring factions, one based on Earth (say the United Earth goverment (UE gov)) and has colonies other colonies in nearby star systems. The other could of grown from early far flung colonies that had little or no contact with Earth in the beginning and so set up their own goverments, lets call them the Galactic Colonial Cooperative (GCC). The two go to war, over territory, natural resources or some other feasable reason (as i said not game design at all yet). None of this is particularly spectacular, but i was thinking of giving a whole new way that the war would be fought. Each star system would be a campaign, with one or more planets needing to be taken, and each planet would have a number of sectors (continents?) that need to be dominated before the planet can be effectivly thought of as taken. The idea i had was that you could split this battle up so that you had a space fleet that needs to assualt the planet and get in position to land the troops, while the ground force fights the battle for the planets surface. In a multiplayer game the two battles (for space and surface) could go on concurrently, so that reenforcements and tactical information are dependent on whether the space fleet controls the skies above the planet and how much of that sky they control. Likewise the success of the space fleet depends on the ground troops being capable of preventing the enemy from deploying anti starship weaponry. Basically in im looking for peoples thoughts on whether they think this might be fun, playable, feasable, and any thoughts you may have on developing the design and story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think that much of the strategic dynamic you describe is already present in StarCraft. Air and ground units interact in interestig ways, and a good tactician must use both to succeed. Ground units secure areas and buid defensive or productive structures, while air units clear a path for dropships to bring in reinforcements. If you make a custom map with a central platform surrounded by empty space, you could even simulate orbital craft and spacefighting prior to landfall.

You should think about what your space/ground dichotomy offers that can't be achieved in the unified arena of StarCraft. Depending on the size of the star systems and the scale of the conflicts, it might be impossible for one player to micromanage a fight larger than the average SC game, so maybe it would be possible to have a mini-map of the system but have each player just covering one sector of one planet, and give them the ability to send tech or resources to their allies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That was more or less my idea, reminicent of Battlefield games, where some players fly aircraft, some fight as assualts, some medics, some tanks. My idea was that each 'general' would fight attack and defend in one sector from the ground side.
My idea was to have two engines running concurrently in multiplayer, so that you'd have the ground troops fighting along side a gound controlled airforce, while the space force fought in the skies in a more homeworld type environment. Control between the two would be request for reinforcements or orbital barrage from ground troops, which the space commander can send to that sector, and pinpointing important targets from space, say the last place an anti starship missle came from. I think the dynamic is a little differnt to star craft as it requires a number of players to work as a team on both sides of the conflict to win a planet, sorry i realise i wasn't to clear in my previous post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The cooperative elements you describe have considerable promise. How do you plan to integrate the battles so that the players feel like part of a larger conflict?

Will there be ways to support your allies directly, like using ground units to designate locations for orbital bombardments (as opposed to just asking your partner to bomb a certain point)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Using ground troops to plant beacons for orbital bombardment sounds like a great idea. That would also make it more balanced and give the enemy forces a chance if they lose control of space. Eg. preventing you from destroying all their ground forces from space.

The only really practical way i can think of for linking the two battle arenas (space and ground warfare) would be the relaying of information and resources between planet and orbiting fleet.
From the ground as more of space is conquered more of the surface of the planet is visible, and more targets can be hit with orbital bomabardment and more reenforcements can be landed. Also a ship destroyed in orbit could crash down on to the planet below, as a shower of debris.
From space as ground is lost by ground troops the fleet positions would become untenable as enemy ground forces could use planet based anti-ship weaponry to destroy the orbiting fleet.
I feel that this interdependence would give a feeling of belonging to a larger conflict. If your ground troops are losing ground they may need to be reenforced or evacuated by the space force, and the ground force would have to ensure the safety of the space fleet, and transfer raw materials for repair work.
I invision the space/ground war being much as the air/ground war in battle field. Planes can drop bombs on ground troops to help their ground forces, ground forces can use anti-aircraft emplacements to shoot down enemy planes, and aircraft fight each other to gain air-supiriority.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I like all those ideas. A game you might want to take a look at (rent it, don't buy it) is Alien Versus Predator: Extinction. It's an honest attempt to make a decent RTS console game. It's not great, and it basically winds up being a poor man's StarCraft with the races and all, but the human forces interact with orbiting ships.

It's small-scale, so there aren't any buildings or vehicles, but the human forces have a communications officer who can call the orbitting craft for support. You gain additional soldiers by summoning dropships down to local landing beacons, and with an upgrade, the Comms Officers can use attack satellites to vaporize individual enemies.

In order for this to work, it's assumed that there's an orbitting force that maintains dropships and weapons satellites. To use these features in your game, you'd have to have one of the players actually building or deploying the satellites in-game so that the ground forces could use them, and you'd have to load and dispatch dropships to insert or extract forces.

For deploying troops, I also recommend that you read at least the first fifty or so pages of Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein. It's a brilliant way to conduct space-to-surface tactical strikes. Ignore the movie by the same name; it uses totally different tech. In the book, heavily armored troopers are "hard-dropped" in little pods from an orbiting vessel. They fall at terminal velocity, using some parachutes as they approach the surface to break their fall, and then drop the last few hundred feet in their powered armor. Just as they leave the mothership, a dropship heads for the surface. The troopers land in a formation around a central waypoint and fight their way there, arriving just as the dropship finally lands. They jump onboard and the dropship flies them back up to the ship. It's sweet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Theres nice ideas there thanks, and thanks for making me think about all this stuff :). I've been reading the Aliens technical manual by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood recently, its choke full of great ideas i could use also, largly based around the interactions of orbiting fleet and marines on the ground. I'll see if i can get a working game design document up and running to see what people think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this