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Holy Fuzz

An unusual RTS/RPG hybrid.

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Holy Fuzz    213
Recently I've seen (on this board and off) a lot of talk about making games that combined RTS and RPG aspects. In these games, there exist "hero" units (or a single hero unit) that is the player's "character". These units are typically more powerful than other units, and can gain abilities/levels like characters in RPGs. Like they do in RPGs, players are supposed to become attached to these heroes. Most notably, Warcraft 3 (to some extent) does this with its hero system, and has some success with the formula. The problem I see with this is that RTS games and RPG games focus on mutually exclusive concepts. RPG game inherintly focus on controlling and developing one or a very small number of characters, while RTS games focus on controlling and developing an army, possibly hundreds, of individual units. So what happens when you combine the two is that you lose elements of each in order to succesfully meld the two, and the result is often less than exciting - it seems that instead of gaining depth you have lost depth. So here's my idea: Instead of creating an RTS that inserts characters into armies, how about an RTS where your army *IS* your character? For example, the year is 3000 AD and you are the commander of a mercenary army on a barren, warring planet. Your army is small and fragil, and you are desperately in need of cash to upgrade. One day, while traveling to a nearby city for repairs, you stumble across a rogue terrorist camp. After a hard battle, you defeat the terrorists, and discover a large supply of cash and valuable technolgies, including plans for a more powerful tank. With these in hand, you continue to the city where you repair your army and purchase new equipment. Sounds like an RPG, but instead of swords, shields, and spells, you wield tanks, soldiers, and other "weapons" commonly found in conventional RTS games. Like RPGs, your army may go on quests/"missions" for various powerful individuals and nations, and you gain a reputation based on your actions and who you ally yourself with. When on these missions, you can loot money from the enemies and discover new technologies, plans for new units, or special unique units. This kind of game could work either in a conventional "build a base, gather resources, attack" formula, or it could forgo the base-building/resource-gathering and focus on tactics. The advantage with the tactics-only approach is that its simpler both to play (probably) and to develope and balance (almost definately). The problem is that a large battle can be very costly - the player could be significantly weakened after a difficult battle that did not reward sufficiently to allow the player to rebuild his army. The base-building/resource-gathering approach fixes this since the player can (and is expected to) constantly replenish his army during the course of a battle, and so especially difficult battle will not cripple a player. There are of course some issues. In either type, the size of the player's army must be limited so that it does not become too big and unwieldy (just like any RTS game). The obvious and probably most effective strategy is to use a "supply" or "support" system used in many modern RTSs such as in Warcraft, Age of Empires, or countless other games. The base-building approach also has other, less easily-solved issues. First, what happens to the player's base? There seem to be two options: either pack it up and bring it with you after every battle or leave it there and build a new one during every battle. Second, how do resources work? There needs to be a resource that you can spend in towns to upgrade your army, and there needs to be a resource you can spend mid-battle to reinforce your troops. Are these resources distinct, or are they the same thing? Perhaps one type (gathered from the surrounding terrain) could be used to produce new generic-type units and repair them mid-battle. The other type (looted from your defeated enemies) could be used to purchase new technolgies, plans for units, or unique units at towns. Third, a player will, over the course of a battle, build many units. How will the player be limited in how many units he can take with him? Does he have one global supply-cap, and can never have more than that (in which case he gets to bring the entire army with him), or can he build more units than can be bring with him, in which case some mechanism for choosing which units to bring/leave must be implemented. So yeah... that's my idea. I have no plans of actually creating a game like this unless someone wants to give me a dev team, but I think it has some potential. What are everyone's thoughts on this idea? Thanks. - Fuzz

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Daniel Miller    218
I was actually thinking something a lot like this when I was reading a thread here (after someone said a giant hybrid of genres: FPSRTSRPG). I was thinking that you could have an MMORPG where you walk around with your army, but that takes away the entire idea of balance from RTSes (plus mixes it with the worst genre! :P).

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Sta7ic    139
Or you could simply make your base an abstract location, as it was with X-Com, or merely a point or flag on the field, like in Myth -- do away with the mid-fight unit construction and focus the strategy more on unit selection, resource management (ground control), and intelligence/counter-intelligence measures.

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intrest86    742
I'm guessing that this is also in responce to my thread (and I refrained from saying FPSRTSRPG thank you very much :-P). Anyway, this sound smostly like and RTS with a story. To really make it an RPG I think you still need to have control of that one person, the commander, that you become more bonded to and can get involved in the story. I think it is a good idea to let the army be upgraded also, and I don't think the player character needs a full-fledged attribute system, but you open up a lot of story possibilities by letting the player character be just one person.

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