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hpdvs2

What makes an RTS great?

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hpdvs2    1017

[quote name='Stroppy Katamari' timestamp='1357947673' post='5020534']
Anyway, that is the real world. It has a lot of more randomness in it, and that randomness generally makes it a bad, uninspired strategy game if you want to think of it as that. We're only motivated to play and practice it because winning has real-world rewards.
[/quote]

 

I think it still can be fun, but I think that people need to get out of the mentality of EXACT numbers in battle.  No battle is purely numbers.  A strategy isn't effective if it only gives you a 1% improvement over the opponent, yet in starcraft, if a squad of 20 of the same units and a squad of 21 of the same units, were to face off in the same starting pattern 100 times, the side with 21 would always win.  real life isn't that way, as you pointed out, yet people expect to win starcraft using an excel sheet as a guide.  

 

I think its reasonable that units are never 100% accurate, or 100% fast.  but their odds improve with experience.  upto say 95% accuracy with enough experience.  Tactics/strategy are needed because there is no perfect shot/soldier.  I think a game can be fun if it focuses more on the strategy overall than unit precision.  but this is tough.  

 

Sorry for the tangent off of your post, is was written over about 6 commercial breaks.  :)  

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hpdvs2    1017

[quote name='Stroppy Katamari' timestamp='1357953292' post='5020562']
So there are situations where you send troops into an area blindly, there are enemy troops in position there, and your troops get owned. Or the opponent's troops get owned. The outcome of this kind of event indeed seems "random" at first. But suppose it was a monster like EffOrt or Flash playing. Would they have done something differently, seen something differently? Yes and yes - though what they would do and see, I have no idea. My point is: they probably would not "gamble" a lot. You should be careful about pointing at something and saying it "is random". Your previous actions largely determine what kind of "random" you will risk, what kind of "random" you will invite and what kind you decline entirely.
[/quote]

 

This game me a REALLY awesome idea.  How about after a segment of battle, particularly where you went up against stationary units/traps, etc...  You could replay it.  not just watch it, but replay it.  try different strategies, to get better.  Ultimately, you wouldn't gain any financial bonus, but the military experience, can raise.  not that your troops have gained experience, but that they can now come out of the training camps with a little more starting experience.  I.e.  This is a form of study.  I'm sure players would love the chance to replay a part of a game, to do better, where the original characters do almost the exact same thing.  

 

Of course this doesn't fix surprises, but it does start to teach the player to recognize better strategies and possible setups to use in the future, and get used to the clicking needed.  Some parts of this would be easy, but if it were an open field confrontation, the 'replayer' wouldn't have the opportunity to change their strategy mid battle, as the player's strategy clearly will change.

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Sandman    2210

[quote name='hpdvs2' timestamp='1358030989' post='5020877']
So perhaps a good concept on this would be that there are very little unit upgrades that you control, but the more experience troops get, the more they learn.  Perhaps it could be more that survivors learn to do more and get better weapons and such.  
[/quote]

 

Well, what I was actually trying to say was that I just don't like the idea of unit xp in RTS games. It's usually implemented in one of two ways, both of which are bad:

 

1) On levelling up, I get to 'upgrade' my unit. This requires micro which distracts me from all the other micro I'm trying to do. Plus I then have to keep track of which unit got the special ability so that I can use it properly, otherwise it just gets lost in the rank and file again.

 

2) On levelling up, the unit automatically gets slightly better. This is better than 1) because I don't have to waste any time doing the upgrade, but on the other hand I'm less likely to notice or care about the level up. The upgrade just gets lost in the rank and file.

 

Either way, I'm unlikely to care about the level up unless it's a significant unit. So why bother? And even if the upgrades are (or eventually become) awesome, I don't really like the mechanic for gameplay reasons. I don't want to have to pick out a particular unit to groom for veterancy, that's just going to distract again from the big picture. I want to be controlling armies, not micromanaging one guy so he can live long enough to get a cool gun.

 

In short, I am of the opinion that XP/levelling in RTS games is an anti-feature.

 

[quote name='hpdvs2' timestamp='1358030989' post='5020877']


So somehow the vet status of a character stood out?  It sounds like something good, but I'm not quite sure how to represent that
[/quote]

 

I'm guessing you meant to quote the paragraph above the one you did quote :) 

 

In Supcom, veterancy was not at all obvious. You had to mouse over the unit and look at the description to see if it had veterancy. However it didn't matter, because the only time you really cared was when you were dealing with an 'Experimental' - which were gigantic monster units that would tower over everything else on the battlefield and were capable of wiping out entire armies of lesser units. Experimentals were dangerous enough right out of the box - however the reward for veterancy was percentage based hp gain + regen. Since they had massive hp to begin with, allowing them to gain vet status made them really dangerous.

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Zeverin    133

Hi. I guess I'm late to join the conversation. But as a lover of RTS games, and being involved in creating a small RTS game a few years ago, I must write my two cents about the subject.

 

Any progresses in your reasearch Dan? I would like to know if you already got some direction on wich features to include or major game mecanics.

 

I think that for a RTS game be great we should split the campaign mode and those skirmich battles. Will be focusing in the latter the most.

 

First I must mention that the ideas that I will drop would work better in a slower paced game. In fact, I don't like to rush, I'm a turtle player :).

 

<> What do you think about limited ammo? This would require carefull planning of attacks, and would also require a supply chain, wich in turn would be a nice thing to exploit. If the enemy can't supply additional ammo in the battlefield, he is done... Would it be too annoying?

 

<> I think I would like to "see" a true planning mode. I would like to create a group of paths assigned to several squads, with the hability to sincronize arrival in time, the formation of the squad, add also the possibility to specify triggers that will put those plans in pratice, in the end a bunch of commands delibered in the exact order at the precise time. I think this would put the focus in the planning, and squad manage. Thogheter with longer engagement times would reduce the need for fast, obscene, clicking.

 

<> I really like the possibility to creat fake buildings. Dan you should develop the ideas int the post 68. I like the idea to create traps, and ambushes. It will add to the longevity of the game.

 

<> We need better AI!! Really. I hate that the AI is soo little creative. It tends too rush and after 30 mins, is no longer able to keep up the pace. Both campanign mode and skirmich battle against the CPU would benefit hugely from improved AI.

 

Sorry for the long post and misspellings.

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hpdvs2    1017

Any progresses in your reasearch Dan? I would like to know if you already got some direction on wich features to include or major game mecanics.

 

Yes, I ended up deciding on splitting the game up into three stand alone games that support each other.  A Builder Game, a Tactics Game and a Strategy Game.  A City Builder that is safe, and you buildup and train troops.  (no fighting)  A Tactics/Skirmish game, where you are controlling a squad of infantry, specialists, etc.  and directing their battle close up, midst a war.  A third game(Strategy) sees a planet as a whole, and is divided into regions under control of humans and dragons, and you can zoom in to see the fighting, but ultimately, you are spending credits to give squad orders. I.e. warp in a squad to blow up this bridge and set mines on the nearby path, or warp in a squad to take out this bunker  etc...

 

The games support each other, but at the same time, you can ignore the others and just play the one you like the most.  You just get special bonuses.

 

 

First I must mention that the ideas that I will drop would work better in a slower paced game. In fact, I don't like to rush, I'm a turtle player

 

The city building is safe, never losing, except the potential of troops you send out.  The skirmish is fast paced and highly focused.  you don't need to worry about a bunch of other crap and can simply focus on this squad, one key goal and one tiny area of the map.  The strategy game is medium paced.  You are focused on the bigger picture.  You might choose to send a squad or two into a death trap with little support, because you are building up a larger force to send into a more sensitive area.

 

You can choose what you want to play, but since you don't have to pay attention to many things, I think even the faster Tactics part will still remain quite fun for 'turtle player's like you and me.

 

 

What do you think about limited ammo? This would require carefull planning of attacks, and would also require a supply chain, wich in turn would be a nice thing to exploit. If the enemy can't supply additional ammo in the battlefield, he is done... Would it be too annoying?

 

I had been juggling around with ammo limits and kept wanting it, but every time I was working on writing up how the player would deal with that, even the mental walk through of preparing the write up was tedious.  I tend to take Tedious work on a GDD to be a clear sign the player will feel the same way.

 

Ultimately I took it out.  However, I am planning on infield bonuses.  I.e.  If the Strategy games spends the resources to have a construction squad come in and add a supply bunker, then all troops within a certain radius will have additional bonuses.  This will be easier to manage than running out of materials, especially since my design only allows any particular squad to be in war for 5-10 minutes at a time, typically less.

 

 

I think I would like to "see" a true planning mode. I would like to create a group of paths assigned to several squads, with the ability to synchronize arrival in time, the formation of the squad, add also the possibility to specify triggers that will put those plans in practice  in the end a bunch of commands delivered in the exact order at the precise time. I think this would put the focus in the planning, and squad manage. Together with longer engagement times would reduce the need for fast, obscene, clicking.

 

I agree.  The tactics portion is intended to be very focused on setup.  Essentially, squads can train particular patterns, and the squad leader just has to define the end points, like setup explosives here, surround this, defend here, here and here.  etc...  But then they can take further micro management. of the units even to the point of directly controlling one character and setting others to follow/take orders.

 

I really like the possibility to creat fake buildings. Dan you should develop the ideas int the post 68. I like the idea to create traps, and ambushes. It will add to the longevity of the game.

 

I agree about fake buildings, in fact I'm planning on having fake buildings in the City Builder as well.  even though its separate., and your troops would use them for practice/training.  including fake dragon structure.

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