Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Humble Hobo

RTS Goes Underground

This topic is 4090 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I was considering some ideas that I thought might be fun, and wanted to run one by you: Depth in an RTS seems to be a good idea to me, but so does everything when I first consider it. I was hoping to have multiple layers or depths, much as it is done today. The modern RTS often has cliffs, and elevation differences in the terrain, but everything is still completely exposed to the sky. This makes for some great strategy with height and choke points, but I thought it could be fun to add some depth as well. Here's my implementation thoughts: You have the surface, which is exposed to the sky. There might be various ways to dig, or just go through caves into lower depths that are underground. Some buildings might require two or more depths to be built on (a tower with a foundation that goes underground). Three hotkeys would let you quickly switch between depths (3 depths, max), and there might possibly be three minimaps, or a minimap transparent overlay that shows underground activity. So, would this implementation be the best for the situation? Would this even seem fun to you playing an RTS? Is it worth the trouble?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
i had a dream once where 2 sides battled completely underground. The map was one big slab and you had to dig through to get to the other side. As you dug you get resources. This was long time ago when all i could do is built LEGOs but then they stole my idea http://guide.lugnet.com/set/?qc=*underground.

3d strategy is some thing i find fun but i think its better done in a space setting like homeworld.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's been done, in Metal Fatigue by Zono, there were three different levels: air, ground and underground. It was a fairly fun game, but that was more because of the giant robots rather than the level system which didn't really seem to add much additional depth to the gameplay, IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
there was also Armies of Exigo (lol, the site's title has a spelling error in it) which I think was a really solid game, that never got the publicity it deserved and then died a pretty quick death. (No multiplayer platform anymore etc).

It basically had 2 Minimaps always visible and you could always switch between the upper- and lower-level with hotkeys. Problem is: I can't really remember if it actually helped the gameplay and was used extensively in the more popular maps, but there seems to be a single player demo that you could atleast try.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Agreed. Fighting on multiple levels is the same as fighting on three entirely separate battlefields, which is about the same as trying to play three games at once, which I did not find the least bit fun. I'm sure there are better ways of implementing this idea, so you can see all portions simultaneously and coordinate your strategy, but I'd hate to be the one to design and code it. Some ideas just don't bring anything useful to the table.

Now, I do like the idea of having sky and underground elements in a game, but I've found the conceptual approach is more effective than the practical one. For example, in Dawn of War, Space Marines can build an orbital relay that then allows them to "deep strike" certain units anywhere on the battlefied. In Rise of Legends, the Vinci super unit "Leviathan" can burrow underground and reappear anywhere on the visible battlefield as a sort of surprise maneuver; it also makes travel across long distances much quicker. Even as far back as Starcraft, certain Zerg units could hide underground and pop out where the enemy least expected it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you all, I had forgotten about the conceptual approach.

Tom: Good solid advice. Most RTSs have land and air units, which are conceptually two different planes. Many have water units too, which are on the same plane as land, but restricted to certain units. It definitely is a lot easier to manage than switching between 2 minimaps.

It's looking like this now: Land Units + Air Units + Underground Units. There might be dedicated LvL, LvA, LvU units for example. Not exactly original, but I've finally learned that you don't have to change everything from the ground up to be fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just a quick random idea: how about having a side view? The whole digging underground thing made me think of worms. Off hand, I can't think of an RTS (as in base building and resources) that uses this view. Has it ever been tried?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I can name plenty of turn-based strategy games with underground tunnels, but real-time? Seems impractical and not particularly interesting. As far as multi-level battles go, I thought Supreme Commander did quite a good job of requiring coordinated (land/air/sea) assaults.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Earth 2150 has underground RTS elements. You could create earth quakes and transport troops through tunnels. Seemed like a good idea but the micromanaging was annoying for many units.

I'd say allow players to dig into mountains but not be able to go underground per say. So like mountains in the map might have "entry" regions where tunnels can be started and you can dig out into a tile based grid. Also allow for building in the tunnels and such.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dragonshard is another RTS that had underground elements.

Their implementation involved set caves that could be entered to move to the underground sections, where the play style was actually somewhat different. It was a D&D based game, so the underground play was giving a somewhat more "quest" flavoured play, where it was a little more like squad-based dungeon crawling than traditional RTS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!