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NightWraith

Movement commands in RTS's

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Been thinking about this a bit (since I''m writing a RTS), what really bugs me about RTS controls are the "Mouse Button" = "Move whilst ignoring the enimy, even if he/she attacks".. I would much rather it was "Move but ignore the enimy UNTIL he/she attacks"... So I got to wondering... 1) Does this annoy anyone else? 2) Would People prefer to have "Attack to location" on one button and "Move to location on another" and if so which on the left and which on the right 3) Or would people prefer to have a set of movement option buttons (kind of like stance buttons in Age of Empires) when you can set each units response if the spot an enemy whilst manovering... e.g. Options could be "Ignore" "Always Engage" "Engage the enemy if they engage u first" "Engage the Enemy only if you can reach them"... 4) If 3 is your prefered choice what options would you like to choose from and 5) again if 3, would you like to have seperate option sets for standing and movement or the same (i.e. one button sets the stance and movement "mode" or two buttons one for stance one for movement) finally 6) What else bugs you about RTS user interfaces and what do you like??? (Personally I like idea 3)

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I would go for stance buttons (ignore, defensive, aggresive)

But depends on what kind of RTS you are doing. Also the unit response range when on aggresive can pretty tricky to balance - it really bugs me when my units get scattered all over due to chasing fast moving opponent units :-(

I guess gamespeed (pace of game), level of unit control and realism is the main parameters in which determine the best possible control.

Slow ----------------------------> Fast pace

High control AOK STARCRAFT C&C
Close combat
Low control Settlers, populus


Slow pace + high control = lots of options - eg turnbased strategy usually got tons.

Fast pace + low control = few options - eg C&C, populus

In Close combat the units are ''real'' men - this affect the controls as well - ignoring fire is not an option (defensive mode is however).

just my 5 cents.

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My #1 complaint about RTS UI: No customizability. I mean, we have reconfigurable buttons in FPS games, but for some reason this hasn''t caught on for real-time strategy games. This means when I right click in Starcraft I get a completely different effect than in Red Alert 2. Dang annoying!

My favorite UI option would be close to #3, sort of what Total Annihilation did: One button for 3 move states (Don''t Move, Move Directly, and Roam or OK move around a bit) and 3 fire states (Hold Fire, Return Fire, Free Fire).

Other annoyances: No fog of war (Red Alert), Unit Under Attack VO but no way to jump to the unit (Red Alert "Harvester under attack"), No build queues or limited build queues (Starcraft), only being able to select X units at a time (Starcraft), and

#1 MOST ANNOYING THING OF __ALL__ TIME:

Units that get stuck between buildings or terran. Starcraft has this ALOT, and it''s made twice as confusing because it __LOOKS__ like the unit should be able to move, yet it sits and spins. I like that at least TA units gave a "I can''t get there." message, and if you hit F3 you could toggle to the last unit that said that.

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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I suppose one way to implement this would be with the use of the keyboard as well as the mouse.

RMB = Move here
CTRL+RMB = Attack
ALT+RMB = Patrol from current position to this position

etc...

I agree that custimazation of the UI would also be a welcomed addition to any game let alone an RTS.

My biggest gripe with RTSes in general is the need to collect resources... but that''s another story



Dave "Dak Lozar" Loeser

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Guest Anonymous Poster
two words: Total Annihilation

it had: Hold Fire, Return Fire, Fire at will
and: Hold Position, Maneuver, Roam

which affected when to fire and how to move when an enemy fired upon it

and when moving, as long as it was Fire at will, the guys would automatically attack enemies

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Guest Anonymous Poster
You have to have the following commands at a minimum: attack-target, attack-move, and move. The left button must always be a standard selection button. The right button should do whatever is most likely what the player wants, it is also the cancel button for targeted effects. So in an RTS game if you have some units selected and you right click on the terrain it should do what is whatever they probably want to do (attack-move). Always make sure to have keyboard shortcuts for every single command. They should all be on the left side of the keyboard.

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I agree that fully customisable control would be VERY useful in an RTS (In fact its a feature I intend to implement in an RTS I''m currently engaged in developing)..

Secondly I''ve noticed every one who replied here talkes about using only the RMB to control unit.. with the LMB as a purly selection button.. (I would like to be able to issue different commands with each button, saves key pressing)

small note to anon poster.. they should all be together on the keyboard... LHS is ok if you use the mouse with your right hand, but a bit of a pain if you use it with the left...

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I like the approached mentioned in Game Architecture and Design, using formations.

Basically the AI of the unit varies according to the formation it is in. A unit in wedge formation will charge towards its target and ignore all other enemies. A unit in Tortoise formation will advance slowly, and cover itself when attacked by archers etc. It is probably more applicable to historical/fantasy settings, but can still be applied to more modern/futuristic settings with a bit of thought.

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Well what would be good in RTS''s is to get units when they come under fire and while travelling (In formation, whatever) to first scatter, thus avoiding more shots, then seek cover and return fire... well something like that... should be able to put units on guard duty within an area i.e. like a lookout post etc.

Dæmin
(Dominik Grabiec)
sdgrab@eisa.net.au

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Well what would be good in RTS''s is to get units when they come under fire and while travelling (In formation, whatever) to first scatter, thus avoiding more shots, then seek cover and return fire... well something like that... should be able to put units on guard duty within an area i.e. like a lookout post etc.

well jsut my ideas

Dæmin
(Dominik Grabiec)
sdgrab@eisa.net.au

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