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Simplest Rts

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I've found out that creating an RTS game is harder than it looks; big surprise there aye? So then I wondered how else to get my fix. The point of me trying to create a RTS is so that me and my friends have a new game in which to beat each other (through direct join and direct host), we used to play Command and conquer, Dawn of war, war craft, etc. but now we need new rules to learn, new tools to wield and a new world to battle upon. So I was thinking why not make my own RTS that way we can have what we like, I’ve created many Design documents in my life most of which were RTS games but I feel at a lost for SIMPLE ideas, so I turn to you, the greatest game dev forum on the planet.... At first I was thinking multiplayer Tower Defence, then I was thinking that you would build a base in the building zone and then the monsters would come, basically like playing Co-op but that’s not PvP so I scrapped it. I was thinking of a 2d RTS with base building etc but again it to complex with balancing and all sorts. Then I thought why not have a quick arcade style game but then I was at a loss because all I could think of was - Having a map, buy units with set points, customize them, put them on the map, capture certain things, and destroy the other player. Would this be simple? Have you got any other ideas? Or do you think I should just stop looking for an easy way out and make a big detailed RTS? Cheers in advanced.

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My take on the problem would be to turn 'several' into 'one' at the design level as far as it makes sense. So there are several types of structures? Now there is one. There are several types of units? Now there is one. Several types of resources? One. Maps? One. Unit orders? One.

So, I'd sprinkle 'resource points' over the map. Let the player auto-build a building for free on top of each resource point. Each building starts mass-producing units as fast as it can. The player can left-click on an area and all units start moving to that area in an 'attack-move' fashion (move until you see an enemy, then attack). If the player clicks on another area, the units start attack-moving towards the area closest to them. Right-click kills a target area.

Units just kill each other, or buildings, using a simple rule. Movement and production speed have to be balanced to prevent the 'oops your army is dead, I conquer you all' issue. And that's about all.

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that seems simple enough i guess, and then i guess you could just keep adding to it?

how easy would that be to code if you know? i would have to find a programmer but would like to know what goes into the progress, i know this isn't to much to do with game design in its true sense but still.

Cheers by the by.

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There are two ways to get a programmer to work on your game:

1) pay a programmer lots of money

2) be a programmer and do it yourself

If you were an OUTSTANDING artist you MIGHT be able to get a programmer to work on your game idea. You'd have to be at least equal to a professional game artist. Even then the programmer would want to be an equal partner and you would have to see eye-to-eye on the game design.

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Why not create a board game of it first (you said your friends are interested?)? This will allow swifter satisfaction of a finished product, and the rules will be far easier to outline.

Not too mention when you DO go to make a video game, you'll have something concrete to base it off of, and you'll have a huge portion of designing and testing completely finished.

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I have had a simple idea for an RTS for a while. It is essentially a 2 player "Missile Command" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missile_Command ), but instead of having the computer throw random missiles at your bases, the missiles are fired from your opponent's bases (which you are also trying to destroy).

Each base/city has some basic properties (they can build offensive missiles, build defensive missiles - flack, supply power, provide resources to build or upgrade cities and perform research).

Upgrading a city upgrades only one of these aspects each upgrade level (you can choose different properties to upgrade each time you upgrade a city).

Research increases the maximum a specific property can be upgraded to. So if you research "Power", then you will be able to upgrade the "Power" property of cities further.

Research can also be applied to missiles and flack, which increases the speed at which they travel.

Research is open ended with no maximum limit and each level only gives a small increment in effectiveness. However, it will eventually get to the point where it is not humanly possible to defend your cities any more. This is intended as if there was a maximum limit then players might be good enough to enter into a stalemate where neither player could ever achieve victory.

If a city is destroyed, then it can be rebuilt, but this take resources (which could have been used to upgrade other cities), and it looses all upgrades that have been placed on it.

Flack/Defensive Missiles can only be targeted in the player's half of the battle field (you scroll up to see the enemy's base and down to see your own). So if you click in your side of the battle field it will fire a flack missile to that location.

If you click in the enemies side of the battle field, then it will fire an offensive missile in that direction. It will work out the vector from the nearest city that you own and then calculate the vector between the city and the location you clicked on. The missile will continue until it hits the enemies base, the side wall, or another explosion - at which point it explodes.

If a city is hit by an explosion, then it will be destroyed.



That is pretty much the design. It is meant to be simple and rely on player's "twitch gaming" ability as much as their tactical and strategic ability.

The main gameplay elements that make it up are:
Twitch: The ability to click fast and make snap decisions. You need this to position your targeting cross-hair (the mouse pointer) quickly and in a good spot to intercept enemy missiles or get past their defences.

Strategy: Planning ahead for your research and upgrades is important as is choosing research and upgrades to counteract you own play weaknesses.

Tactics: Where you place you missiles and your flack can be as important as what research and upgrades you have done.

Swarm: The idea is that eventually the gameplay gets so hard that one player is overwhelmed by the enemy and will loose the game. Just like in the Space Invaders games.


Or if you are interested in making a Turn based Strategy game, I can post up a rough design for the Turn based spaceship combat game I am working on (which could be turned into an rts with a little modification).

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If it's really just for you and your friends to play, you might want to make a mod for an existing game, like Warcraft 3. I haven't used the Warcraft 3 tools very much, but from what I've heard they give you a lot of freedom to assign stats to units, create maps, swap abilities around, and such. Some of the mods people have made are very different from the original Warcraft 3 game.

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Quote:
Original post by Edtharan
I have had a simple idea for an RTS for a while. It is essentially a 2 player "Missile Command" ...

I like this! Sounds kinda fun!

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I like this! Sounds kinda fun!/quote]
I came up with this idea while recovering from an operation. I had injured my shoulder (dislocated) and had had an operation to try and repair it (not successful). I would had a go programming this, but due to the injury (permanent - it partially dislocates a couple of times a day) I am unable to spend a lot of time working on a computer (about 1 hour typing a day spread over around 12 hours - and then only about 2 to 3 days a week).

Because I know that I'll never be able to make it my self, I am happy for someone else to have a go at it.

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