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intrest86

RPRTS - The Role Playing Real Time Strategy

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intrest86    742
So, I was just reading an articl on Gamasutra about design concerns for making a MMORTS and though of what I think could be an interesting way of making a hybrid between the standard RPG and RTS: The basic concept is that you play a soldier, and that is the character with whom you are supposed to identify. Since this is a hubrid that includes RPGs, this world is going to require some sort of a story to move it along. Maybe this soldier is part of a small town militia, or a town of pacifists? Outside of battles the player always plays as there character. He may talk with other soldiers, go into town, patrol the town looking for trouble, etc. In the beggining he joins battles in his Role, as someone who is part of the battle. I guess this could possibly be very FPS like, but I'll refrain from calling it a RPRTSFPS :-P As the character evolves/levels he becomes more and more of a commander. As this happens, he gains the ability to order the other soldiers to do what he wants, ,and depending on his level of authority, how much the soldiers like him, etc his orders will be followed. At the same time that the player becomes more of a commander, his view on battle should also change. The perspective will start to shift from the characters to an overhead, the view normally associated with RTS. This coresponds with the player having to stop running around shooting people and hahing to give orders instead. Lots of other factors could go into what the commander can see, who he can order, etc. For instance, if the militia is still using word of mouth to communicate than the commander will only be able to give "higher objective" type commands to far away troops, while those around him can take lower level "shoot him" orders. Also, his view of far off movements would be slowly updated and error prone. Once he has access to radio communication and satelites, the views and orders can be much better dealed with. There is a lot that can be done here To keep with being an RPG, the player will have to interact with townsfolke, his soldiers, other commanders, etc. For example, as his troops are marching to battle he could ride a horse with them as a morale boost. The army gains experience, with which it can upgrade. Maybe by saving a rich man they get a source of funding for those tanks they really wanted. Or the player could dress as a civilian and walk into an enemy town to get intel. I think this idea could grow into something very interesting. In the actual battle scenarios I don't think the switching from soldier to commander and that transition causes to much extra code, only the players input options change. Of course, the RPG side of things would take some more development and in many ways would be like a second game to develop. Any thoughts?

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My thoughts: I have been working on a similar project for quite some time and I like the idea very much. I guess the easiest way to describe it is FPSRTSRPG but then no one will ever talk to me again. ( I might as well throw MMO in there somwhere for kicks...) Seriously though the design idea is more akin to and FPS with an RTS element controlling the FPS force and resource allocation. You have a world, you choose what goals to spend your resources on (including your troops) and then you fight for those goals. All of this is experienced in first person to enhance immersion and mesh with the minor RPG elements. I can't bring myself to say more for fear of going off on some long winded tangent...

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Quote:
Original post by intrest86
So, I was just reading an articl on Gamasutra about design concerns for making a MMORTS and though of what I think could be an interesting way of making a hybrid between the standard RPG and RTS:

The basic concept is that you play a soldier, and that is the character with whom you are supposed to identify. Since this is a hubrid that includes RPGs, this world is going to require some sort of a story to move it along. Maybe this soldier is part of a small town militia, or a town of pacifists?

Outside of battles the player always plays as there character. He may talk with other soldiers, go into town, patrol the town looking for trouble, etc. In the beggining he joins battles in his Role, as someone who is part of the battle. I guess this could possibly be very FPS like, but I'll refrain from calling it a RPRTSFPS :-P

As the character evolves/levels he becomes more and more of a commander. As this happens, he gains the ability to order the other soldiers to do what he wants, ,and depending on his level of authority, how much the soldiers like him, etc his orders will be followed. At the same time that the player becomes more of a commander, his view on battle should also change. The perspective will start to shift from the characters to an overhead, the view normally associated with RTS. This coresponds with the player having to stop running around shooting people and hahing to give orders instead.

Lots of other factors could go into what the commander can see, who he can order, etc. For instance, if the militia is still using word of mouth to communicate than the commander will only be able to give "higher objective" type commands to far away troops, while those around him can take lower level "shoot him" orders. Also, his view of far off movements would be slowly updated and error prone.

Once he has access to radio communication and satelites, the views and orders can be much better dealed with. There is a lot that can be done here

To keep with being an RPG, the player will have to interact with townsfolke, his soldiers, other commanders, etc. For example, as his troops are marching to battle he could ride a horse with them as a morale boost. The army gains experience, with which it can upgrade. Maybe by saving a rich man they get a source of funding for those tanks they really wanted. Or the player could dress as a civilian and walk into an enemy town to get intel.

I think this idea could grow into something very interesting. In the actual battle scenarios I don't think the switching from soldier to commander and that transition causes to much extra code, only the players input options change. Of course, the RPG side of things would take some more development and in many ways would be like a second game to develop.

Any thoughts?




Think about how you will (as you move up in rank) get other players to actually follow orders. Most MMORPG players arent used to this idea and will have the tendency to do what they want. Getting a good size group of people to coordinate even loosely is a pain in most of the games. Die to the nature of player mixing in them its hard to get a large group of the same people consistantly, so you have to come up with a mechanism to get them to follow orders.

One game I saw recently (I forget the name) was a 64 player game with 2 commanders. The players were coerced into cooperating in the commanders ordered mission by having their character advancement based on rewards given for
completing designated tasks (not sure if it had higher rewards for tasks completed faster or better...). The players could screw around if they wanted, but they would then not advance and would remain 'cannon-fodder' instead of becoming power players or getting nifty weapons to wield.


I suppose it would be a good idea for the 'commanders' to have a selection of goals that they can assign so they have some ability to fit the selection of players they have available to them at the particular time.
One night they may have only newbies online in their 'faction' and they could then apply them to more rudimentary tasks (and probably educate them on the way the game works) and build them up. A wide spectrum of tasks could also allow a few power players to be sent on small high level missions at the same time.

Flexibility would be key in making such a game work with online players.


A hierarchy of commanders (with sergeants, captains etc..) below a faction commander could have a measure of the same kind of task assignment (so in a large game world the grand-poobahs dont have to micro manage too much when their faction may have hundred of players under them online.

Players could stick together in small groups of friends if they wished (and would have a good chance of real team coordination when doing so).



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intrest86    742
Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Think about how you will (as you move up in rank) get other players to actually follow orders. Most MMORPG players arent used to this idea and will have the tendency to do what they want. Getting a good size group of people to coordinate even loosely is a pain in most of the games. Die to the nature of player mixing in them its hard to get a large group of the same people consistantly, so you have to come up with a mechanism to get them to follow orders.

One game I saw recently (I forget the name) was a 64 player game with 2 commanders. The players were coerced into cooperating in the commanders ordered mission by having their character advancement based on rewards given for
completing designated tasks (not sure if it had higher rewards for tasks completed faster or better...). The players could screw around if they wanted, but they would then not advance and would remain 'cannon-fodder' instead of becoming power players or getting nifty weapons to wield.


I suppose it would be a good idea for the 'commanders' to have a selection of goals that they can assign so they have some ability to fit the selection of players they have available to them at the particular time.
One night they may have only newbies online in their 'faction' and they could then apply them to more rudimentary tasks (and probably educate them on the way the game works) and build them up. A wide spectrum of tasks could also allow a few power players to be sent on small high level missions at the same time.

Flexibility would be key in making such a game work with online players.


A hierarchy of commanders (with sergeants, captains etc..) below a faction commander could have a measure of the same kind of task assignment (so in a large game world the grand-poobahs dont have to micro manage too much when their faction may have hundred of players under them online.

Players could stick together in small groups of friends if they wished (and would have a good chance of real team coordination when doing so).


Although a multiplayer extension would be natural to this genre, I thought it would be best to avoiud all of the issues involved with human players being commanded for now and simply have them all be AIs (which is why this is very much like a normal RTS). Its a one player game, so there are no worries about other players trying to mess it up. This is also what allows there to be an actual deep storyline to it all.

This kind of thing would make for a very interesting MMOG I think, but there would be a lot of hurdles. First, it would be a MMOG. Second, there is a lot more data to communicate because of the high numbers of units inherent to RTS. And third, it might be more difficult to make players feel important in the game.

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