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RTS Idea: "Landfall"

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Before you begin: no work has been started on this. It would be a big project, so I can't guarantee any work will ever be started (let alone seen). This game is in the early planning/concepts stage.

Landfall

A Space RTS

Multiple Maps

Maps are large circular regions with empty space around the outside and a landmass in the center, an 'island.' Ships within a certain distance of the island(s) (this distance being defined either as a numerical constant or a region in the map) must be in normal mode.
  • In normal mode, ships can be seen by anything (possibly limited by sight range), and attacked by anything
Ships outside of this distance may be in either normal mode or stealth/warp mode
  • In stealth/warp mode, ships can only be detected by special units, and can only be attacked or targeted by these units. They can also warp to other maps when at the edge of the map.
    • Warping between maps takes time (based on the distance between the maps)
    • If two ships on opposing teams pass each other while warping between maps, they will notify their respective players
Some special actions may knock a ship out of stealth/warp mode for a period of time, during which they may be targeted by units that cannot see ships in stealth/warp mode

Possible Feature: 'Realistic' Physics:

Ships can go up and down (with limits) to get past large obstacles such as big ships Some weapon projectiles arc downward due to gravity Destroyed ships fall down and crash into the ground if there is ground below them or fade into a black fog if no ground is below them

Possible Feature: Communication Delay:

The player commands their forces from their home base initially, but may be able to move to other maps just like a ship
  • The player may even have a ship as their avatar
Units in the same map as the player receive instructions instantaneously. Units in other maps receive instructions after a delay which is based on the distance from the player's map to the destination map. Display and/or simulation of action in maps the player (or players) are not in may be simplified to conserve computational power Controls over activity in other maps might be limited to more strategic controls than tactical ones If the player is between maps, their control over all maps (including the ones they are traveling to and from) will be limited, as will their view of them, and possibly the simulation of those maps (depending on whether or not such simplification is in use for maps the player is not in)

More Stuff

The convenience of this organization (if you find it convenient) comes thanks to the fact that I wrote it this way in an OpenOffice document to organize it for myself before even considering posting this here.

So...

Does it sound like a good idea?

What do you think of what I have described so far?

What specific things would be good?

What sort of units do you think this game would benefit from? What sort of structures? What sort of gameplay, aside from what I explicitly described?

Any other opinions?

What sort of miscellaneous comments or suggestions or ideas to you have?

Is it practical?

How hard will it be to make something like this? How big of a team would it take to do it in any reasonable amount of time? How easy or hard will it be to assemble such a team?

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Quote:


So...

Does it sound like a good idea?



Pretty much? :)

Quote:


What do you think of what I have described so far?



Well I need some more information on your intentions first :)
Why there are conflicts, how they will fight, what will they use during or preparing fights etc.
And your design objective too. (e.g. A completely strategic space domination game or a semi FPS shooter RTS etc)

Quote:


What specific things would be good?



I cannot suggest anything since I don't know your true intentions yet :)

Quote:


What sort of units do you think this game would benefit from? What sort of structures? What sort of gameplay, aside from what I explicitly described?



Well, it depends.
If you are planning structure build mech in planets, you need ground troops as well as spacecraft warfighters. There would be research centers to raise the tech tree so that ground troops can have more firepower or adjust more fluently on harsh environment etc. There would be structures for ground/space unit production, defense, espionage, teleportation, resource gathering etc.
If you are planning events in space only, then the planet part would be shrinked, when navigation and space combat/movement expanded. There would be space station (man power), warp gates (spacecraft teleportation), defense mechanisms, anti warp barrier, resource transport stations (where you gather things and send hose over to the needed places etc), spacecraft factory etc etc.

Quote:


What sort of miscellaneous comments or suggestions or ideas to you have?



The outter space RTS tends to have a boring scenery since it's all about the blank black with white dots and even if you move fast, the relative feeling of speed and verisimilitude isn't good. I suggest FPS+RTS genre with dramatic camera works and cutthroat scenes. I'd say it's better to have a slow-but-awesome-shooting combat (switching between spacefighters and playing etc) than traditional play chess unit drip drops.

Quote:


Is it practical?

How hard will it be to make something like this? How big of a team would it take to do it in any reasonable amount of time? How easy or hard will it be to assemble such a team?



We will discuss this later when the outline of the game actually is drawn.

[Edited by - Limdul on November 2, 2007 5:43:51 AM]

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I was thinking of having a mix of space combat and base building, with minimal ground units (but not none). Most of the kinds of ships would be medium/large, but there would be one or two kinds of small ships, possibly deployed from the larger ones, or from ground bases.

It would be sort of like StarCraft, but with more of an air (space) emphasis. The problem with that is that the setting is sort of ridiculous to begin with: islands in space: a sort of unrealistic, almost humorous setting. And StarCraft is sort of humorous (cutscenes, dialog, etc.)... I don't want this to be just like it, I want it to be unique.

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Another idea or two to add to my concept (tell me what you think, and how easy or hard they would be):

Two species.

Not like good old WarCraft: Orcs and Humans, where there are two playable races, though. You play as a human commander, and your opponents are human commanders, but you have command over alien forces as well. You can develop the human tech tree, the alien tech tree, or both.

The aliens are an organic species with castes, sort of like the bugs or the Zerg from StarCraft, but they can use technology, some of which is their own and some of which is that of the humans. They have good ground power, but limited space power.

The other species is the humans. We have good space power but not the best ground power.

By partially or fully developing both tech trees, you can send a well protected human space transport to deploy alien ground forces on an enemy-held map, and other good stuff like that.

An important thing I'd want to do with this is make it so that you can win using one tech tree fully developed or two partially developed. The problem there is that right now I can't think of a good way to have a mostly alien force launch an attack, without balancing the alien ground stuff with human space support and transport technology. Suggestions welcome.

Pre-game Pre-researched Technologies Selection

What if you could select a few technologies to start the game with, so you don't have to research them? It wouldn't cause 'class regret' like in RPG's, because you could get the other technologies as you played, provided you didn't make really bad choices and therefore didn't have time to get them before being wiped out.

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Quote:

What do you think of what I have described so far?


There is an interesting nugget of an idea here, but as Lindul said you haven't really got an actual game design.

Consider using a Top Down approach to describe your game. I shouldn't be reading about any features until I have a high level picture of the whole thing you're trying to describe. In your breakdown, you went:

- Name
- Genre
- Features

That was too quick :) I have no idea about lots of the basics - you should answer "Who, What, Where, When, Why" before going into "How". I should know about your theme, the intended experience and the hook for the player before you start talking about the scope. Once this is all established, you can start telling us how you're going to achieve all that with the features.

If you create your design doc by listing lots of features without having a clear goal at the start, it becomes practically impossible to read effectively.

Note that I'm not saying top down is better than bottom up as a design methodology, I'm just saying top down is a much better way to write documents :)

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Original post by Aken H Bosch
The problem with that is that the setting is sort of ridiculous to begin with: islands in space: a sort of unrealistic, almost humorous setting.


Islands in space are a time-honored tradition in the industry! Even if they couldn't possibly work, they are simply so much cooler than the non-floating types of islands. Starcraft also justifies this to a degree by using 'orbital platforms' in space: wide, flat, ship-building platforms. But that's just the point, you would never find a geological vaspean gas geyser on a titanium orbital factory, but we suspend our disbelief anyways.

I assume most of the gameplay will be taking place in the black. It might be nice to do away with ground altogether and simply have the workers gather from asteroids.

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