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suliman

RTS - resource gathering

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Hi Im planning a rts of the type of warcraft2/starcraft and total annihilation. I DO want resourcegathering and basebuilding and these are my ideas so far: only 1 resource ("cash") but different ways of getting it So you start with a base (HQ-base) and can build more. Other bases must send trucks (like caravans in age of empires 2) with their produced resources to your HQ-base. Only then will it be available for use. A network of supply-lines will be used on larger maps. Defence of these supply-lines and disruption of enemy supply-lines (pirating) will be important. Could this work? I like the idea that to hold a bigger "empire" you must also put more effort in defending your increased income. Ways of getting resource Oilwell/mine (static, depletable patches like mines in warcraft2) Plantation (harvest like dune 2. Can in some situations be tendered so it regrows) Trade (between you and neutral/friendly factions on the map) Plunder (attack bases or convoys) Etc This way, when you design a new map, you can make resources easily obtained (like limitless mines inside the base) or more exposed, forcing the player to venture out in the map. This can lend good variation to gameplay. Any points to be made about all this? Thanks for your input Erik

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Sounds like it could be interesting - I'd like to see more games that emphasize logistics. Would you expect production of new units to happen on the board, or would they be 'ordered' from an off-board factory and delivered to a HQ?

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Ultimately, given how much of a pain it is to expand, it seems like turtling and teching will be the primary method of victory. How do you counter the cost, and risk, of expansion with the definitive income of turtling?

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well if there is no income inside the base (like the guy who made the scenario didnt put any "secure" income patches), you cannot turtle, you must get out there to get money at all. Also, all trade income comes from "caravan-routes". If you sit confortable at your base with very low or no income, and your enemy can control the wealth of the entire map himself, you will be utterly overrun (he can dish out much more units than you). Also, defensive structures (AKA towers:) will not be overpowered.

Military units will be trained like in warcraft/starcraft/total annihilation (on board factory buildings).

Trucks: each base can set a number of trucks that it is expected to keep in buisness; if some is destroyed, they will be rebuilt automatically and send to the supply-line. But building them cost money and time so its not free. Trucks can also be built manually and given any order you want (orders are simple, like go between base X and base Y or between base X and oilwell Z).

It could be nice...

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Dawn of War and Company of Heroes are really the class of RTS these days. I strong suggest you check out these games.

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Ultimately, like many other 4X RTSs with gameplay focusing on one key point, success or failure of the game would depend on two things: enjoyability of the mechanic in relation to the game, and ease of navigation of the mechanic. Having to micromanage large empires on the trivial scale (eg. keep telling the caravan to go back after the journey) can be inanely boring. By extension, however, if the caravan automatically functions, and you can't control it, the player can feel like the game is playing itself. A balance between the two must be found.

Furthermore, the player must be able to figure out how their empire is looking very quickly. If the supply lines are being pillaged, a big red box should show up on the minimap. A green overlay over the map showing supply lines would also be cool. Having a DOW style 'action complete' bar would also be useful. Allowing the player to quickly and easily see where their empire is is a crucial part of any 4X game.

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Will you need some way of telling players what the map is before they commit to playing it? I think it's crucial that this come from your game analyzing the map rather than a player description, as map makers can potentially be lazy on this point. I raise this because I remember (ages ago) stumbling onto Starcraft BGH (Big Game Hunters) maps with idiotic amounts of resources which made anything but rushing pointless. If I was playing your game I'd like to avoid these maps like the plague.

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