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Toolmaker

Multiple build queues in an RTS - Howto visualize

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This post is obviously not suited for the programming forums, so I'm thinking this forum is the best place. Anyway, to start off: I'm currently building an RTS. At the moment, I'm nearing the moment of implementing unit and building construction. However, I dislike the building queues in most current RTS games. You have either the option of a sidebar(Think C&C) on which you can select what to build, and build 1 unit/building at a time, no matter how many factories you have. Or, You have to select each building manually, select what to build and move to the next. Alternatively, each building has the option to queue up multiple units into a queue. However, both are bad implementations. When I'm commanding my armies, I jsut want to build a series of units, and not having to wait till they're construction 1 at a 1 or be busy with micromanagement of checking if my factories are actually building stuff. My idea is: When a building is constructed and placed, it will register itself with a BuildQueue. The build queue keeps track of all building facilities, and when a facility is idle, and if there's a suitable unit/building for that facility in the queue, it will hand the facility the order. I was thinking about not using the traditional clock, since it would show only the progress of the most completed unit(And this can change... So the given information is inaccurate). I could however use the top-left corner of the icon to show how many queued up orders, and show in the bottom right how many are being built. Any other suggestions? Toolmaker

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You could draw tiny icons of the stuff being built around the building in a clockwise fashion and make them 50% translucent. Maybe outline the currently-building one in green or something.

When you hover over the building, make them solid and offer tooltips when the user hovers over the individual icons.

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I think Red Alert 2 solved part of this issue for you. You queue buildings/units by clicking on them and units pop out of your currently selected "main" building.

Ideally, you could queue all unit/buildings from the same sidebar and the production would be handled for you depending on what production facilities you have.

I'm sure there's some in-depth discussion on priority and queuing systems unrelated to RTSs that you can dig up and find solutions for what you're working on.

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Quote:
Original post by Rasterman
This sounds good but how do you control where your unit will be created?

If you're referring to Warzone 2100, then they come out of the factories that build them. Of course, you can also set a Rally point for each factory, and the units that come out of it will go there by default.

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I think the ultimate solution is this:

You set rally points which are general positions of where newley created units will gather regardless of which factory they come out of.

In the C&C sidebar you select the units you want to build. They are allocated to idle factories in the order you click.

When they are built, the unit travels to your rally points and the factory becomes idle and builds the next unit in the overall build queue.

A further variation is to have your rally points have a filter, so you might make it so that only units of Tech Level X go to this rally point, or only units of role X, selected units, etc.

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Quote:
Original post by utilae
I think the ultimate solution is this:

You set rally points which are general positions of where newley created units will gather regardless of which factory they come out of.

In the C&C sidebar you select the units you want to build. They are allocated to idle factories in the order you click.

When they are built, the unit travels to your rally points and the factory becomes idle and builds the next unit in the overall build queue.

A further variation is to have your rally points have a filter, so you might make it so that only units of Tech Level X go to this rally point, or only units of role X, selected units, etc.


That's actually a pretty sweet idea. Now to implement it :D

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Player should be the one that controls which factory building units.

Imagine you have two factories, one in center of map and one in corner far far away. Player is attacked in center and you start to build units. If both factories start to build queried units, every second one will be created far away and you can use them for battle until they come to center of map.

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Quote:
Original post by shurcool
If you're referring to Warzone 2100, then they come out of the factories that build them. Of course, you can also set a Rally point for each factory, and the units that come out of it will go there by default.


This is very bad design IMO. I agree with Srki_82. If you have an outland base somewhere this whole queue filtering and automatic build queuing is going to make the game a nightmare. The more stuff you add the more complex it gets to manage which is a bad thing. If you want your game to be more about strategy and not how fast you can click, I think you are better off changing the units, build times, etc, rather than making the interface more complex.

To better manage unit creation, instead of trying to create some kind of band aide around the problem managing multiple factories causes, instead fix the cause of the issue. Remove the need for multiple factories by simply allowing factories to be upgraded to produce more than one unit at a time. But this has other strategic ramifications.

Or even easier, like in SupCom, when you double click a factory, it selects all factories, then when you queue a unit, it gets queued in all factories.

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