Jump to content
  • Advertisement

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Sandman

Building your army (RTS)

This topic is 6332 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 am looking for an alternative method of army building to the standard "mine resources, build factory, build tank" approach, which should acheive the following objectives... 1. Remove the emphasis of the game from peon pumping 2. Remove the need to balance on a per-unit basis... I want to be able to have super units without giving the player license to build reams of them and ignore everything else. 3. Encourage unit preservation. 4. Be scalable - ie a mission designed to take 3 days to complete will be just as much fun as one designed to be half an hour long. 5. Provide the player with "interesting choices" (gameplay value) The solution I have come up with, as I briefly mentioned in the Rock Paper Scissors thread, is a system of "reinforcements". (I think it was actually Diodor who inspired this one) Whenever the player feels he needs some more troops, he makes a request for reinforcements. The number of reinforcements the player is entitled to depends on one factor only - how much time has passed since he last made a request. Note that resource management has nothing to do with it... the game balance only changes according to the players combat skills. This is also scaled in favour of making fewer requests, in order to discourage the player from "spamming" his HQ with constant, piddlingly small reinforcement requests. It also gives rise to an interesting decision... can I hold off a bit longer and get that extra unit, or should I just get my reinforcements now? The list of different units available will depend on a few different things. First of all, a unit is not available unless you have the facility to maintain it. So you cant get a super heavy tank unless you have the logistics in place to keep it running. Secondly, every unit will have a frequency of occurrence: infantry units are common, but super heavy tanks are relatively rare. Finally - an element of luck could be involved - it simply depends on what reinforcements HQ have available. The reinforcements are delivered to a special place (eg a starport or dock or whatever). The time it takes them to arrive depends on the size and content of the request (generally small units are more easily dispatched than large ones, but the forces arrive at the pace of the slowest). Also, the size of the dock may be have an effect on what units you can dispatch to that dock. So, thats the basic idea - any opinions/ideas? Edited by - Sandman on July 17, 2001 12:11:55 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Sandman.. Let''s do this.
answered in no particular order:

1) Campaign-based persistence. This completely obviates peon pumping, and encourages intelligent deployment and fallback strategies.

2) Finite resource supplies with terrain-based influx rates (like Civ/Civ2), but no explicit resource management (perhaps you can make that an in-game option like in homeworld, or even a separate game-type). This should give rise to maintaining "supply lines" over more fertile, perhaps more difficult to defend, terrain. I watched 2001 last night and had forgotten all about the Dawn of Man scene with the two protohuman clans fighting over the watering hole. Great way to remind me of the simpler things being the most important.

3) super-units require more resources than light units or cannon fodder (remember that game?!), hence if resources or resupply do not increase fast enough, you will have a battalion of superheavys sitting on their ass in the middle of an artillery target Light units are of course less resource intensive. I don''t think you can keep the Rolling Thunder approach out of the game unless you have some way to affect a ceiling of some sort with respect to the worldmap. That will be hard to figure out without using some kind of points based or resource based accountability.

4) Staging!! Whooo hoo buddy you are the MAN!! Restrictive staging is realistic and RULES! Say, if your beach-head is only X tiles wide you can''t land more than X(c) units at once.

5) Scalability is going to rely on LODAI or something in order to allow heavy unit numbers without eating up all the ticks. A well-defined state machine for the Unit classes is going to be key.

Have I hit all the high points?
----------------------
-WarMage
...out of the mouths of babes... comes strained carrots and other excreta.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is an interesting idea but I see a simple problem.
Where do you reenforments come from? I picture a city or town under siege when the player requests for his reenforments...then what? Do the new units simply appear in the town? Do they walk from the edge of the map into the town? What about the enemy army?

Command and Conquer: Red Alert did this for the helicopters but I forget if they could be shot down as they approched the player''s base. Even on the beach head mentioned above, what if the ships bringing the units can be shot at? Is it fair for the units to be destroyed before the player gets them? Or, is it fair to prevent the other player from destroying the reenforcements if he sees them approaching?

Even in the scenario where the player is situated on the side of the map, does this prevent him from relocating if he is losing his base?

One solution might be to have a reenforment route that the player must guard, and will never change based of the map, that the player knows about and is responsible for. Another solution might be to allow the player to choose an edge of the map that is within a certain distance from his base. But, the player might use this to place a new command center hidden right next to the enemy base inorder to be able call reenforments straight into the enemy base.

I think that if a fair system could be worked out, this may be an effective way of supplying the player with more units.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Building a system where the player is discourged to call frequetly for reinforcements means they are encouraged to wait. That sounds like a situation that will cause players to hunker down and wait as long as possible to do anything, and I can imagine that could get boring...

How about the increasing reinforcements with a twist? If you wait too long (randomly determined), that juicy group of available reinforcements gets deployed somewhere else HQ sees fit (aka you lose them all). Now the pressure is on!!

Dash Zero
Credits: Fast Attack - Software Sorcery - Published by Sierra 1996

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fist off the units requesting re-enforcemnt must be able to call for re-enforcements. A unit that is seiged in without any communications cannot call for reinforcements. Any good staginf area would not be complete without a communications outpost or a clear line for reenforcements.

Re-enforcements can be attacked and killed, but as long as communications are good they can be controlled as well.

Peon supply should also be factored by population control. If the population doesn''t like you it takes longer/you get fewer reenforcements.

How about population playing more of a role as NP AI''s for resource generation and unit generation? This is where the real resources come from anyways. You control population indirectly by protecting them and expanding your spere of influence. Remeber that since your units are people too, killing too many makes you loose favor with your people and they can defect to the other side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh....

Allowing a native population that could grow and expand would also help to solve the dreded zero-sum problem of the *Craft games. The only problem is that maps would have to get MUCH bigger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MagicScript: For my own design (sci fi), I was going to have the units dropshipped in. The units would come down on a suitable landing area (I originally thought some sort of landing pad might be necessary, but then I decided that any region of open land large enough for the dropships to zero in on would do. The dropships would be destroyable (which suggests that dropping them deep inside enemy territory is pretty risky - you''d want to keep them further back) but would also have a limited capacity to shoot back. They would not be controllable, and would piss off as soon as they have dumped their cargo.

This could be adapted to any setting though. In a contemporary game, infantry could be airlifted/paradropped in, tanks could be airlifted or sailed in, aircraft would fly in under their own power. Foot troops might also be able to enter at certain points near the edge of the map.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
snowmoon/warmage

You guys have definitely got the idea.

DashZero:

No offense, but you seem to expect that the players always want to do the most boring thing possible It is a fair point though, I think the idea that the units available should change is great... so when you see that super heavy tank you just *have* to ask for it...



Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In my fantasy RTS design, players have a base of operations where units are stationed.

When a player sets out to do a quest/battle/etc, he takes a group of these units and starts the travel to a location.

When reinforcements are needed (depending on the situation) a message is dispatched (birds, magical, etc) and the reinforcements will then travel from the base to the location (so don''t travel too far).

Haven''t quite figured out what the units will do while inside the base (what''s the reason for them to remain behind) but I''m sure I''ll figure something out (maybe they''re defending the base, maybe they''re training, maybe they''re healing, maybe they''re creating new weapons and armor).

Just to throw in another way of dealing with reinforcements.

Ol'' Silvermyst doesn''t even know how to program his own VCR, so take ANYthing he says with a big pile of salt...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hehehe Slivermyst: "We''ll FOX ''em!!"

I want to borrow from my RTS/Lance/etc thread and poke some more detail into it all. The idea of doing an RTS instead of YAFPS is probably where the majority of we kit-coders will make our mark!

So you have abstract tile types like Landing Zones (lightly fortified), Staging Areas (moderately fortified), Fire Support (which are towed guns/ballista/Plasma-Crapping Bugs, etc with troop fortification) and HQ (the works).

Abstracts of same type must be a minimum distance apart, this is not unlike waypointing, and allows upgrading the abstracts pretty much through the chain described above, and prevents being able to, say, cluster a dozen FST''s right next to the enemy city.

Reinforcement would come from the nearest FST or greater. Based on the Line/Arrow/Interdependent Objective UI I described in the other thread, Resupply requires routing, with time to resupply increasing as the logistics chain is more circuitous.

Keep automatic resources flowing per terrain and terrain type controlled. If your half-batt of riflemen (falconers, archers, stormcasters) require 3 grain, 6 water and 4 fuel every 20 turns or 2 game-days or so, and the nearest FST is 15 tiles away gaining only 2 grain, 4 water, and 1 fuel every 20 turns, then the FST is going to have to get resupplied from someplace that has surplusses, and those surplusses forwarded down that heavily embattled 15-tile supply convoy before the half-batt ever gets a thing.

Provide Garrison-type units for urban combat / counterinsurgence / recruiting, rather than try and mke it a target for artillery. Scorched Earth should be a very powerful technique but has massive social repercussions. Nobody wants to be Saddam II.

------------------
-WarMage
...so should I get paid for this stuff, or what?!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

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

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!