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Lil_Lloyd

RTS style Gears of War cover based shooter

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I've had this idea rolling around in my head for a while now, and due to the lack of access to resources it'll probably never be made so I thought I'd throw the concept out there. I have been thinking of an RTS style squad based shooter, where the player would have an overhead view of a battlefield, but would fit on one screen so would sometimes differ in scale. However there would be two 'teams' (or more for multiplayer) and arenas/battlefields with plenty of cover. All units would be ground troops of differing abilities. Troops would have different cover firing modes set by the player (e.g sporadic fire, set target, stay in cover).

The main problems I have in my head with this are control - making the control simple enough not to be too convoluted with regards to picking troops and setting their respective actions. I think if I researched real-life military tactics/formations it would give me some ideas of football-style 'plays' to give a group of troops at one time. However emphasising the use of strategy enough to make it fun is going to be tough.

Even though it is going to be a strategy game I would like levels to have a relatively fast pace and not be too drawn out.

Any thoughts/criticisms/ideas?

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it'll probably never be made so I thought I'd throw the concept out there


Are you throwing it out there so other people can use it? Or is this more become an hypothetical in your mind and basically are seeking feedback etc for the purposes of crystallising the idea in your mind into a cohesive whole? Or will you shoot for Door number 3: The comment below.



due to the lack of access to resources


This is a stumbling block yes, but it isn't a barrier preventing you from being able to move forward. If you have a look at the help wanted/hobbyest projects in the Classifieds forum. There are ways such as this to try and make it a reality. I am not saying that it will be easy, nor even that you would get a response if you posted to create a team persay. What I am saying is :- until you actually move to get over the stumbling block it might as well be a barrier. Edited by Stormynature

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Are you throwing it out there so other people can use it? Or is this more become an hypothetical in your mind and basically are seeking feedback etc for the purposes of crystallising the idea in your mind into a cohesive whole? Or will you shoot for Door number 3: The comment below.


Crystallisation and thought experiments in general. Thanks for your kind words of encouragement too.

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I have been thinking of an RTS style squad based shooter, where the player would have an overhead view of a battlefield, but would fit on one screen so would sometimes differ in scale.

You should think about the scale first. How many units are the player controlling. A single squad with ~5 people or multiple squads with vehicles ? The issue is, that you need to consider micro mangament vs macro management. A larger scaled RTS (i.e. SC II) game should avoid micro management, therefore cover based tactics are more of a visual feature (+ boni for defence), whereas if you like to take in micro management (i.e. jagged alliances is a cover based, turn based strategy game), you must be careful about such options. This could lead to stress quite fast, which could result in frustration for most players.

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The gameplay elements your suggesting are actually tactical and not strategic. I know this doesn't really matter but this is what makes it difficult to implement. From a military standpoint this sort of command is issued by a team/squad leader or officer if one is present not a high ranking general as most player's take the role of in an RTS. This type of command is done on the battlefield which generally "strategists" only see the before and aftermath of or at best see from a distance (little to no input). You could explore a cover system much like Company of Heroes which gives cover options based on the the map's destructible cover and terrain.

To take this to the next level you could have it so the player has tactical commands that can be issued to a single unit or to a full squad if a soldier or squad leader is selected. Operational objectives could be issued to the selection of multiple squad leaders and strategic primary and secondary goals that can be defined when no units are selected (which the AI looks to accomplish). The map view could shift from a distant view when no one is selected and tighten the camera in on operational and tactical levels of command.

UDK apparently has a very straight forward LOD (level of detail) system that could potentially make this type of gameplay not only work well but look good.

If anyone wants to take a stab at this idea, ive got a spherical map and some simplistic, 3D animated assets just waiting to attempt this kind of gameplay and if 3D is too much trouble I'd even be happy just attempting 2D sprites on a grid to see if the control structure would be fun. Bottom line I'd love to animate characters for this kind of game. Lloyd do you have some interest in pursuing this?

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If anyone is interested pick it up and run with it. Just let me know how it goes! It's better out of my head than rattling around in there for years...

Right now I'm crazy busy with 2 projects, studying Japanese, working as an English teacher and making sure I have enough sleep and exercise. That's enough right now!

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