Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
hpdvs2

What makes an RTS great?

This topic is 2067 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've been toying with the idea of creating a small RTS.  I'm trying to figure out which features should get my attention for the first version.  (planning small)

 

Basically I'm looking for clarity in what people like about RTS's, give any reply you want about that.  But I have a few specific questions I'm looking for as well.

 

Tell me about what you like best about existing RTS's, popular or not, new or old.

 

In an RTS that you like, are there things you hate?

 

What feature have you not seen that you would like to see?  - Also, if you've seen a feature but it was terrible, but you think it has potential, what was it and how could it be better?

 

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
I would add a non-military economy, and make the game not strongly war based.
Something like:
-Multiple players
-Resources like oil, water, clean air etc. (which all players have access to and is shared.) For example if a player pollutes air, drains all oil from the oil reserves and dumps his waste to the river which you take your water from, you probably have a reason for war unless you can solve it through diplomacy
-You only need to defeat the enemys defense, not destroy him completely. Eg. Fill the streets with your army, and after a while youll get hold of all his factories etc (with reduced functionality for some time of course) Edited by Waterlimon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@DpakoH
I dont really like different races for different players.
Instead, there could be player made customizations, and the differences between them should vary every game. Eg. at one game player A might have a resource good for defense, while player B has a resource good for attack.
This would increase variety and force players to learn all styles of gameplay. You might not even know what youre fighting against, there might be a quick attack or might not.
So the "race" would be defined by:
-Player customizations (appearance, POSSIBLY some minor gameplay affecting factors)
-Player environment and situation when the game starts Edited by Waterlimon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Somebody may disagree with me on this but Starcraft (or Starcraft 2 which is practically the same) has everything one would want from RTS game. That is base building, multiple races, multiple resources, near perfect balance inbetween. But for me in all RTS game after a while it boils down to -> do this, this and this in exactly this order, under certain amount of time and you will win.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the ideas I'm seeing so far, but want to discuss 1 that was just brought up:

 

[quote name='Waterlimon' timestamp='1356625663' post='5014725']
there could be player made customizations, and the differences between them should vary every game
[/quote]

 

I like this idea, however, one of the key things to these games is reducing think time for players.  I.e when you see a particular character type, you know how to react, such as sending squad B instead of squad A or choosing to run or go around.  If units become heavily customizable, and the game varies each time, it will be harder for people to figure out what to do. 

 

I'm not saying that's bad.  I'm just saying it's a mechanic that would need to be careful in its design.  How to keep it fun, and keep it working. 

 

 

My thoughts on that at the moment:

In a typical RTS, you manage hundreds of things, and split your attention all over.

 - Not being able to quickly determine what your up against (even after experience settles in) would be tough, potentially requiring more focus than should be alloted to a particular unit or squad in the game.

 

However, it does make sense to have a lack of knowledge.  If you see a group of guys with guns run past, you know they can shoot stuff, but do you know if they have mines, grenades, rocket launchers, or a laser for a guided missile system?  nope.

 

I kind of like the idea that you can have ways of detecting these things.  but that has to build up.  So mostly, each foot soldier looks the same, but as you see them do things, little flags raise around them on the screen indicating abilities that you are aware of.

 

In starcraft, if you see a ghost trying to get close to your base, you know it is most likely to setup a nuclear strike, or spy, but usually blow stuff up.  The game tactics would change if it were suddenly 10 guys sneaking around at different spots, and any of them could be it.  Fortunately you installed laser detectors, and could tell which ones were carring laser guidance systems.

 

Perhaps I miss understood your inriginal point, but I think the concept is interesting, and possible.  Just need to be careful with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


[quote name='proanim' timestamp='1356629586' post='5014746']
do this, this and this in exactly this order, under certain amount of time and you will win.
[/quote]

 

That is something I'm trying to avoid to a certain point.  I like in Warcraft 2, how there would be lulls, time to think and plan attacks and defenses.  If the game provides some creative and changing elements, it will need to somehow allow more time for thinking plans through as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
boils down to -> do this, this and this in exactly this order, under certain amount of time and you will win.
Exactly, I'm not some korean robot that does that full-time, so I will never play it perfectly.

Some games try to rock, paper, scissor, where every unit has some counter unit, but ultimatly it means there won't be many surprises.
On the other hand if you put in too much randomness it's no longer a strategy game...

I guess it's because most games try to serve to competetive players. When I was younger and Internet wasn't something everybody had I played mostly with friends. I've got the feeling the games where more interesting and we experimented much more.

Nowadays it's all about playing regulary and climbing up the ladder. I don't have time or motivation to play every day/week/month just to stay good at a game. Besides most games just don't have enough content to keep me interested for such a long time. I mean after playing the campaing and maybe a dozen games in multiplayer you've seen everything there is to discover in SC2. Now one only needs to repeat until his hands are bleeding and he is a so-called pro.

Make a game that's fun too play and that a good player can win even if he/she paused for a few month. Make it different each time (maybe radomize the map) so it won't be possible to use some standard strategy found on the internet. Don't make it a race, where you just have to be faster than everybody else to win.



To me chess is the ultimate strategy game. No randomnes and complete view of the board, only the things in your opponents head are a secret (you can still try to guess).
And because there are also standard openings and opening books, some people suggested to place the pieces more or less randomly and then play, after a winner is found put the pieces back, just like the first time but switch sides. That way the board doesn't have to be fair, balanced or symmetric, you don't even have to place the same number of pieces for each color.

You could also take a look at bridge (the card game) as far as I know they are also reusing the same random hand of cards and switch them between SN and EW too keep it fair.

Edit: You could even randomize the available technologies each time to prevent boring standard tactics.
Easy: Don't allow Infantery unit X Hard: No flying units this round. Edited by shadowomf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm also a fan of Environmental Interactions.  For instance, Wind and dist clouds.  Reduce visibility, slow vehicles, possibly prevent flight.  Setup some sort of Dust generator up wind from an enemy base.  Or an area you don't want enemies to fly through.

 

A catapult that flings trees perhaps, or A Ditch digger that can block off areas by water.  Perhaps even tunnelling.  or hiding ships in a cloud.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really, really like RTS that have fewer more powerful units. Like in the best RTS of all time Company of Heroes the player typically has only a large handful of units 10-15 ish. Each infintry unit is really a squad of soldiers but they act as one unit. I don't like games were you just build a massive army of 40 units group them up and just click the center of the enemys base. CoH battles are all about micro-management and environmental interaction. If you have not tried it you can pick up all three games on steam pretty cheap. Also different races are a must IMO but it makes game balance hard and is a lot of extra work. Also having a couple of types of resources is ok but don't go overboard keep the game play focused on interesting and fun battle mechanics, not tedious base management. It’s not fun building a million harvesters and having to constantly keep an eye on them but it is fun to fight for control of the ore this is why CoH's capture of territories is so good.

Edited by vanattab

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • 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!