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Help to design RTS engine.

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Well right off the bat you should know that if you don't know how to design an engine yet you won't be able to make a next generation RTS engine. You will not be able to compete with Age of the Empires III.

First question: How much do you know?

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I know a lot;) you can see my with friend 2 years work (FPS engine):
But now i want to create RTS engine. I just need to think it's structure.

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Well can you be less vague as to what your trying to achomplish and what you want to know?

The basic structure of an RTS engine is this:

map data structure
unit data structure
render - renders the map and units to the screen.
controls - allows the user interact with the game world.
AI - handles path finding and unit behaviour.

Those are pretty much the basics of an RTS engine design. I'm not really sure what you want to know, that's why you have tell us what your trying to do, and what you want to know.

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Are you making an engine or a game?

If you're making a game then you should come up with the game design first then *and only then* come up with an engine specification that would meet your requirements.


In our game you control a squad of five monkeys which must kill all the rival monkeys as quickly as possible. The terrain is rolling hills and trees with the odd river. The monkeys can use sub machine guns and grenades. Enemy monkeys will be controlled by the computer and can hide in trees.

So for your engine you need to break it down until you have something that will realise you're vision.

Top level : Engine
Second level: Graphics, Input, Audio, AI?
Graphics level: terrain rendering? sprites for trees and players? what kind of lighting?
Input: What kind of control?
Audio: Music? Sound effects?
AI: Pathfinding? Enemy States?

So for our final design we might make an engine that uses a heightmap for the terrain, some overlay to position trees and enemy units, sprites for the trees and monkeys, a basic sound effect system, mouse control etc etc.

If you're making a general engine then you've got to think why you're doing it? If it's to be the next generation RTS engine then look at existing games and see what features they have and figure out how they'd fit in to the engine. What new features are you going to add (e.g. you might want to add a first person view so you can check what your units are seeing)

Regardless of what I've said above you need to break the game down in to finer levels of detail starting from the top (e.g. a graphics system) and going all the way down (e.g. the way you render your units)

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i practicaly create the simple BASE of engine structure.
Maybe anybody knows where i can find unit formations algoritms and similar needfull stuff for RTS games.
Maybe you can tell me websites or send me by e-mail:

I don't need pathfinding, smart/inteligent movement algorithms because i already create these systems.

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This is the kind of stuff that is down to you as a programmer. You should at least be able to come up with your own implementations. Whether they are the best or not is another matter.

Things like unit formations is a pretty simple thing to do but again you have to define the problem.

Do you want units to walk tightly in various formations like in Age of Empires or do you want them to take up strategic positions?

Age of Empires style:
The mid point is where the user clicks, give each unit a co-ordinate relative to this centre point. In a simple rts the points in the x plane might be:

-2, -1, 0, 1, 2

The you just apply this to the grid co-ordinate (say 13) to get the co-ordinates the units should stand at...

11, 12, 13, 14, 15

Now this is very simple but you should be able to come up with things like this yourself. When you extend to 2D you decide how wide your lines can be and then drop back to a new row behind.

You might want a loose tether system where each unit positions itself relative to its neighbour. Make the units have a maximum and minimum distance from their neighbour. Then have one unit act as 'commander' and head towards the waypoint. The other units should follow in step to maintain their distances/angles. You can build in to this some intelligence where units sit behind walls rather than in the open.

If you can do pathfinding yourself the this should all be relatively easy.

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OH I see, it's prety simple, you can see results:

Image Hosted by

Also now need to create module which lets user to write a function how to formate units, with different options(poorest to centre, and etc..)

Maybe you have any suggestions for me?
Maybe anybody want to JOIN THIS PROJECT?

You can find me via e-mail:
Or Msn Messanger:

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