# Shoot em up in RTS??

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I have been designing and programming a Turn based strategy game for a long period of time now. I have been contemplating on the idea of a more interesting battle system then the current risk-like battle system. My idea is to try and execute battle in real-time unlike the rest of the time in game. I base this idea off of the fact that each turn in game time is 5 years and a single battle rarely lasts that long. I have been thinking of beginning to design my real-time battle system with various shoot em up arcade elements to add more fun and excitement to my utterly dull god game. The arcade elements I have been thinking about adding is to have more of a personal relationship with each character, and to less focus on having mass armies and have greater focus on smaller groups using specialized tactics. One example would be the ability to select one of many preset actions and when wanted even be able to aim your archers. I would like to hear other people’s feedback on this idea before I begin my code. [Edited by - Life unlived on March 9, 2008 1:13:00 PM]

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I am kind of in a hurry at the moment, so if you would like to hear a more in depth description of the battle system I have in mind just send me a personal message.

[Edited by - Life unlived on March 9, 2008 12:34:11 PM]

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I'm not 200 people, so I don't want to aim 200 archers.

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Certain artillery weapons in Total Annihilation could be aimed manually; it was tricky to do, but if you got it right you could get better range than if you allowed the automatic targetting to do it.

It could, if implemented well, add an entertaining skill element to a game. I can imagine a kind of realtime worms game, where instead of selecting an enemy to shoot at, you set a trajectory and let rip.

However, as Sneftel says, no-one wants to manually aim 200 archers whilst simultaneously trying to manage everything else that needs to be managed in a typical RTS. So if you do include this sort of mechanic, you'll want to think very carefully about how big a part it plays, and how it fits in with the rest of the gameplay.

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There was a Roman-era RTS released last year (forgot the name...Edit: Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War) which used the WarcarftIII idea of hero-characters, except it let you go into 3rd-person mode with your hero and run around in hack'n'slash mode. You could also use a bow while controlling the hero.
It was actually a pretty fun feature for an otherwise bland RTS ;)

[Edited by - Hodgman on March 3, 2008 10:08:22 PM]

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Dungeon Keeper did that. You should check it to see how they did it.

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this limits the amount of units you can have. In dungeon keeper you could use it to do special things, like taking one guy sneaking round the defenses and open a door etc. Once you have 5 or more guys this becomes cumbersome.

In a "real rts" i think this feature would be simply annoying.
Erik

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There was a game, Dogs of War I think, that was full Realtime gameplay, but allowed you to take control of one of your units. It was more of a squad deploy battle style, you get your squad, you finish the battle, you maybe get a way to get some reinforcements.

I only played it a few times at a friend's place, but I enjoyed it.

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Quote:
 Original post by Life unlivedim kinda in a hurry right now so if youw ant to hear a more proffesional description just pm me and ill get it too you or post it inthe forums later

isn't this pirate_lord?? with the pro"ff"esional and the "too" instead of "to"....

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Quote:
 Original post by idriszisn't this pirate_lord?? with the pro"ff"esional and the "too" instead of "to"....

Can't be... Mr Pirate is retired now, remember?

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I think EA tried to do that with the Command and Conquer series, and it failed miserably, although I hear they're having another go at it. The problem with doing so, is because switching back between RTS and FPS is a big task in itself. How can you go from seeing everything, to seeing what one person is seeing, without giving up some of the difficulty in the process.

Possibly making it to where it is like Risk in a way: You go to a certain area, country, etc. and then you go into FPS and control your forces in that area. Then when you're finished there you can go back to RTS and move your people to the needed areas. The only problem with that is that the amount of designing and information the game would need in order for it to be effective and done well nonetheless.

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Well you could have commander options while in FPS mode. For example, you could issue orders (think of Counter-Strike), like "follow me", "attack my target", or something. Having to control like 20 or more units individually with FPS mode would be a pain. But if you get to build your base on the level of detail of an FPS (that is, more detailed than an RTS) it would make sense to allow the player to be able to go around and check it out from the perspective of the units. Adding the ability to play in FPS can be something that adds to the player's experience rather than being something that the player has to do. It would be cool if you could build more than just the buildings but also smaller things.. for example, if you were building defenses, it would be fun to have a set of "lego pieces" to work with to build a castle or whatever (wall sections, towers, walls of buildings, etc.), and that way it would add to the player's experience of being able to play in first person because the player could make use of those things. Also, in an RTS it's harder to make use of the inside of a building. For example, imagine telling your units from which window to look out from a castle or telling your melee units where to guard against intruders in your castle. With first person mode this adds another level to the game because you can actually fight inside buildings...

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I was thinking of doing something like what these guys said and like has been done in games before, savage is one of them... but with a little twist.

Baiscly my idea was to have heros that the builder (god) could control or that other people on his team could control (these people would otherwise be useless) and for example a 'hero' or player control archer would take 5 archers to make, and basicly you would build the archers and send them to a school to be taught and 1 guy, the hero, would come out.. but yeah..

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Thank you for all the suggestions I will definitely play and study many of the games mentioned I’m curious to know how they did it.

[Edited by - Life unlived on March 9, 2008 1:16:40 PM]

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I own Warcraft III, I had totally forgot about it. Their heroes systems is pretty relevant ill go back and study it.

[Edited by - Life unlived on March 9, 2008 12:19:12 PM]

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Quote:
Original post by Hodgman
Quote:
 Original post by idriszisn't this pirate_lord?? with the pro"ff"esional and the "too" instead of "to"....

Can't be... Mr Pirate is retired now, remember?

Maybe he signed up with a new name? If so, he'll get caught when he makes a mistake. Or, when he posts his life story.

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Ok, I'll try to talk about some alternatives that can be used, starting from the analysis of the FPS and RTS working.

At first, if it's about Real Time battle system and FPS view, the first problem we can see is on the FPS idea. I've been designing an FPS+RTS gameplay for an UT mod all the last year, and I found helpful that UT is an FPS game that I'm changing to add some RTS features. If it was the inverse way, that I was trying to make an FPS game on an RTS, how could I design a good project for an FPS with hundreds or thousands units dealing in real time on the same server?

FPS and RTS games have very different levels of Math, Physics, A.I. and so many others. The FPS gameplay needs some interaction that only can work with a few units into the same server, it's about memory, detailing, processing and net latency. In the other hand, RTS allows more simple hardware work in fact of the simple game control system, which later allows the system to support very many units. So, when I took a native FPS game, all the FPS features already works good, then I just need to adapt my RTS ideas to fit this native gameplay without breaking it.

Ok, I have found a good reason that say I can't place, right now, an good FPS gameplay together in a good RTS game. But it isn't saying I cannot take from FPS games only the things that I can really adapt to create new and good features. So let's filter it down.

As it was already said by PolyFrag, "you could issue orders like 'follow me', 'attack my target', or something", as in Counter Strike, that's a good starting. In CS and in other FPS games that allows the player to send messages to his allied bots, its about A.I. suggesting, and the RTS control is closer to, hum, control. It's because the FPS's units have some freedom to play the game, trying to behave like the human players, and the RTS's ones are ally to the player orders, but these last ones also know how to perform a default combat when it is needed.

It's very bad if the player needs to say to the A.I. every little task it shall do, that would be not so different if and FPS player needed to order his avatar to put one leg in front of other due to walk around, would that? But it works good when the player can control the avatar as an entire unit.Ah, if we can control an avatar like a single one, even it being a group of legs, arms, fingers, it could work controling a group of RTS units the same way.

The next analogy will be more well understood by people that knows about Object-Orientated Programming:

Comparing an RTS army with a great business company, we can take the player as the president. He has many ways to control the work of the company:

• he can tell a director to tell a sub-director to tell other to tell another to do some task or work some way, these orders can go to a single worker, to an entire room, a departament, and also for a specific created "task-force";
• or he can change protocols and working states to switch between pre-designed working conducts;
• or he can just directly order anyone in his company to do anything.

The first control style have the same functionality of the OOP-based codes, and allows the player to have different levels of control, being able to get focused only on the task the he needs at the moment.

The second system is possible when the OOP style is inside. RTS games already uses this kind of control – defensive/offensive dealing, tatic formations, etc – and it can be used to improve the units A.I. system – think about if you was the player and could, instead of use only a half dozen of pre-made dealing protocols, to construct your own simple if-then-else working form? I'm not gonna design here what kind of functions this tiny language/fluxogram/drag'n'drop coding could have, I'm just braintorming some implement options.

The question here is that, if the player wants not to control a single unit, he can control it from the superior levels, but if he wants or needs, he can get that specific control without leaving the rest of his army close to complete chaos.

The last control style is already common in RTS games, and I think it is what LifeUnlived was talking about, trying to allow the player to participate in the action battle. Mr. LifeUnlived, I have not understood your TB/RT so clear, but you have said "less boring" too. I think you mean an movement system with battles outside the same strategy map, like Age of Wonders, Heroes of Might and Magic, Soul Calibur 3, and lots of RPGs. The idea of "boring" can come in different ways from different players, so you could make it fun yet with a turn-based battle system, or you can make an cool action battle system out of the movement system too. The hero idea is very good to make this, this way the player can only control the whole combat of the hero, and will exist some difference between the moments of strategy and combat. For the end, when a trainer ask for a time break at any sport, it's a kinda turn-based, isn't it?

Well, that are just some ideas and analisys, hope this brainstorming be helpful.

It's my first post here on GameDev.net forums. I'm from – and in – Brazil, so I apologize my English mistakes. Everyone that wants to talk about GD can add me on msn: br41n5t0rm1ng -at- hotma

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I would not call myself an amateur but I definitely am not an expert. I don’t incorporate physics and I don’t incorporate several other components most people use. I speak better in code so maybe you will understand more of the way I program by reading some of my code. (Written in Visual Basic 4.0)

The following code is the main programming for my tile map loader.

It reads ini files written like
1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1
1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1
1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1

Function load()Dim tile(63)On Error Resume NextOpen App.Path & "\map.ini" For Input As #1Input #1, tile(1), tile(2), tile(3), tile(4), tile(5), tile(6), tile(7), tile(8), tile(9)Input #1, tile(10), tile(11), tile(12), tile(13), tile(14), tile(15), tile(16), tile(17), tile(18)Input #1, tile(19), tile(20), tile(21), tile(22), tile(23), tile(24), tile(25), tile(26), tile(27)Input #1, tile(28), tile(29), tile(30), tile(31), tile(32), tile(33), tile(34), tile(35), tile(36)Input #1, tile(37), tile(38), tile(39), tile(40), tile(41), tile(42), tile(43), tile(44), tile(45)Input #1, tile(46), tile(47), tile(48), tile(49), tile(50), tile(51), tile(52), tile(53), tile(54)Input #1, tile(55), tile(56), tile(57), tile(58), tile(59), tile(60), tile(61), tile(62), tile(63)Close #1For I = 1 To 63If tile(I) = 1 Then tiles(I).Picture = block1If tile(I) = 2 Then tiles(I).Picture = block2If tile(I) = 3 Then tiles(I).Picture = block3If tile(I) = 4 Then tiles(I).Picture = block4If tile(I) = 5 Then tiles(I).Picture = block5Next IEnd Function

[Edited by - Life unlived on March 17, 2008 1:32:31 PM]

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I would say that if you get paid per line of code... then you have yourself a winner.

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Doesn't visual BASIC got switches and arrays?

in C++ I would do something like:
for (int n=0;n<27;n++) {     switch (tile[n]) {          case 1:default:tiles[n] = block1;break;          case 2:tiles[n] = block2;break;          case 3:tiles[n] = block3;break;          case 4:tiles[n] = block4;break;     }}

That should keep the code a lot cleaner :P

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Block of unecessary code crits you for 1025781.
You die.

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Sounds very similar to Archon, you should definitely check it out if you manage to get a copy or a recent clone.

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I've been thinking of developing something like this too, and definitely like the idea. My concept revolved around the idea of a standard RTS, where you could pick any one unit (or possibly just control one hero) and control them with a WSAD key-scheme -- move around, attack, etc... like it was an action game. Other units could 'follow your lead', if you will, allowing you to control a squad of units with just one guy. Pikmin on GC / Wii does a pretty good job of allowing you to control one squad, and a single character at the same time. I think you could apply the Pikmin model to an RTS.

I did some research and found a game called Age of Invasion http://www.allegro.cc/depot/AgeofInvasion that implements a similar concept. The game itself is too slow and overall not that good, but I think the idea is still sound. It's worth a try to give you some inspiration, if nothing else.

Besides Archon, I always enjoyed Unholy War, an old PS1 game. In the game, you manage resources and move troops in a turn-based fashion on a hex grid. However, combat takes you to a separate arena where you battle other units in real-time. Each unit has a variety of abilities that they can use in this combat, as well as a separate set that can be used on the map itself. XBox / PS2 have a similar title; I believe it's called 'Wrath Unleashed' or something of that nature. I didn't like it as much, but it plays a little bit like a modern version of Archon. You can get it for \$5 at Blockbuster in the used game area.

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Unholy War is pretty similar to what i have in mind.

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Your idea could work if the game mode was switched to FPS in certain times in the mission and if the FPS mode was mission orientated (possibly in situations that would be awkward for RTS gameplay), i.e. infiltrating a building, hi-jacking a vehicle, sniping a target.
FPS in RTS could also be implemented with a tonne of archers if the arrow the user fires is on fire, and the rest of the archers chase after the flaming arrow.

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