Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Glenos

RTS design techniques?

Recommended Posts

Hi

I have been googling for the last half an hour to find no result in what I'm looking for. Racing games have the technique called rubber banding. I just want to know what the same kinds of techniques are called for RTS games. I would give more examples but that's the only one I know of. 

I'm curious as RTS's are my favorite genre and plan on making them in the distant future.

Thanks in advance :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
1 hour ago, Glenos said:

Hi

I have been googling for the last half an hour to find no result in what I'm looking for. Racing games have the technique called rubber banding. I just want to know what the same kinds of techniques are called for RTS games. I would give more examples but that's the only one I know of. 

I'm curious as RTS's are my favorite genre and plan on making them in the distant future.

Thanks in advance :)

 

RTS development is far beyond the beginner level in my opinion, but some things to keep in mind is that you can pre-set a selection of build orders that happen and event based "objectives" the AI will make depending on the units and resources the player has gathered. You can set triggers for when the AI attacks, defends, expands, ect... and by using path-finding the AI will direct it's units to the appropriate target when attacking. You can also look into setting up a more realistic AI that doesn't build counter units unless it has scouted and is aware of such units. There are RTS games have AI that will either do a pre-defined build all the way into end game, or work with a starting build then adapt based on the information gathered. You'll find a variety of AI strategies when you dig deep enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

RTS development is far beyond the beginner level in my opinion, but some things to keep in mind is that you can pre-set a selection of build orders that happen and event based "objectives" the AI will make depending on the units and resources the player has gathered. You can set triggers for when the AI attacks, defends, expands, ect... and by using path-finding the AI will direct it's units to the appropriate target when attacking. You can also look into setting up a more realistic AI that doesn't build counter units unless it has scouted and is aware of such units. There are RTS games have AI that will either do a pre-defined build all the way into end game, or work with a starting build then adapt based on the information gathered. You'll find a variety of AI strategies when you dig deep enough.

 

Yes I understand that RTS is beyond beginer level, I'm just trying to expand my knowledge of it :) How ever you have answered some future questions I would have asked👍 I never actually thought about triggers. interesting. Thanks for breaking it down for me :D Time for me to do some more digging ;) 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Glenos said:

Racing games have the technique called rubber banding. I just want to know what the same kinds of techniques are called for RTS games.

The technique is called rubber banding for all game genres, although it does fall under the broader umbrella of comeback mechanics. In RTS rubber banding is viewed negatively by most players and designers. The opposite of rubber banding is called snowballing where the player who is winning gains additional advantages (like a snowball rolling down a mountain gets bigger and bigger). This is prevalent in RTS games because after a battle, the winning commander has a positional advantage and can generally secure additional resources while the other commander rebuilds their ranks.

One attempt to solve these issues is with creative map designs, causing additional base expansions to increase player vulnerability to attack. However, this can have the effect of causing players to refuse to leave their first base.

Caution is required when designing an RTS because you want to allow both push forward and defensive gameplay styles to be valid while not playing favorites, and any rubber banding or snowballing must be minimal otherwise players will cry foul.

I look forward to an interesting discussion.

Edited by Unknown33

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Unknown33 said:

The technique is called rubber banding for all game genres, in honor of racing games. In RTS rubber banding is viewed negatively by most players and designers. The opposite of rubber banding is called snowballing where the player who is winning gains additional advantages (like a snowball rolling down a mountain gets bigger and bigger). This is prevalent in RTS games because after a battle, the winning commander has a positional advantage and can generally secure additional resources while the other commander rebuilds their ranks.

One attempt to solve these issues is with creative map designs, causing additional base expansions to increase player vulnerability to attack. However, this can have the effect of causing players to refuse to leave their first base.

Caution is required when designing an RTS because you want to allow both push forward and defensive gameplay styles to be valid while not playing favorites, and any rubber banding or snowballing must be minimal otherwise players will cry foul.

I look forward to an interesting discussion.

Thanks for clearing that up for me :) yes map designs... hhmm I'm going to need more paper haha. The RTS genre is where id like to progress into. How ever just so you know what kind of level of experience I have, pun intended. I'm Planning on remaking the Atari  Asteroids game over the next few days. If you check my steam profile you can see it's full of RTS games. So its something I would really love to get into, to develop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Unknown33 said:

One attempt to solve these issues is with creative map designs, causing additional base expansions to increase player vulnerability to attack. However, this can have the effect of causing players to refuse to leave their first base.

Interesting discussion indeed. In StarCraft this problem is mitigated by making the resources very scarce. You'll have to expand to be able to grow. And when you expand, you can't effectively divide your forces everywhere so remote bases become vulnerable to harassment like drops.

Mark Rosewater wrote in his article TEN THINGS EVERY GAME NEEDS that games need to have a catch-up feature.

"There needs to be a way for players that have fallen behind to catch up. A game becomes frustrating if a player feels like he or she has no chance to win."

I would be inclined to agree with that. It's an interesting problem and I'm certain we haven't seen all solutions to it. It's kinda sad that RTS is somewhat out of fashion currently. There are so many great things that could be done with the genre. :)

Edited by Ianuarius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Ianuarius said:

Interesting discussion indeed. In StarCraft this problem is mitigated by making the resources very scarce. You'll have to expand to be able to grow. And when you expand, you can't effectively divide your forces everywhere so remote bases become vulnerable to harassment like drops.

Mark Rosewater wrote in his article TEN THINGS EVERY GAME NEEDS that games need to have a catch-up feature.

"There needs to be a way for players that have fallen behind to catch up. A game becomes frustrating if a player feels like he or she has no chance to win."

I would be inclined to agree with that. It's an interesting problem and I'm certain we haven't seen all solutions to it. It's kinda sad that RTS is somewhat out of fashion currently. There are so many great things that could be done with the genre. :)

Is it bad that I'm a RTS gamer and yet I haven't played Starcraft? Don't worry though I've been after it for a while :) My favourite RTS if you can call it an RTS as its also turn based is Rome total war. The first one.

I agree with your last statement about allowing players to catch up. I've played so many games that don't allow players to catch up and its really frustrating (especially if your like me and keep losing). I also agree that there are so many possibilities with the RTS genre that I'm getting excited thinking about it :D However like you say it is out of fashion at the moment, I hope not for too long though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back in the '90s, I played a strategy game called Z (if you have trouble looking it up, find "Z: Steel Soldiers" and see if it pops up around there), wherein you got your army built purely by capturing territories.  On one hand, snowballing in there is inevitable because whoever has more territories ends up with the bigger army and therefore can then take territories more easily.  On the other hand, though, it's constantly exciting up to that point because you're focused on capturing and defending flags instead of waiting for resources to adequately accumulate.

These days, I play Warlords Battlecry 3, a fantasy RTS/RPG that's loaded with quality-of-life mechanics worth studying, as well as a plethora of available play styles.

I've done some pre-production on an RTS idea that's heavily inspired by WBC3, but that's now very decidedly on a back-burner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That does sound interesting. Having more of something should always come with a trade-off. Maybe if you have a bigger force, it's harder to control, or it becomes vulnerable to specific attacks, or it opens up some weaknesses to the other player. That being said, I didn't much like the artificial tax system of Warcraft III, but whatever. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Lendrigan Games said:

Back in the '90s, I played a strategy game called Z (if you have trouble looking it up, find "Z: Steel Soldiers" and see if it pops up around there), wherein you got your army built purely by capturing territories.  On one hand, snowballing in there is inevitable because whoever has more territories ends up with the bigger army and therefore can then take territories more easily.  On the other hand, though, it's constantly exciting up to that point because you're focused on capturing and defending flags instead of waiting for resources to adequately accumulate.

These days, I play Warlords Battlecry 3, a fantasy RTS/RPG that's loaded with quality-of-life mechanics worth studying, as well as a plethora of available play styles.

I've done some pre-production on an RTS idea that's heavily inspired by WBC3, but that's now very decidedly on a back-burner.

Z YES!! I played on a friends pc during the 90's never owned a pc myself till my teens. It was an enjoyable experience. Though i never played it enough to know much about the game though. I do remember the name and I do believe you can get it on steam now.

Warlords Battlecry 3? I havent heard of it. Ill be sure to check it out :) 

Sorry to hear about the RTS that is now on the back-burner. I think there's not enough demand for RTS's at the moment plus it being a very hard to please genre. I know I still have an itch that hasn't been scratched yet by a developer. The only thing that came close to it for me was Spore's space stage created by maxis yet it was all cute which is possibly what killed it in the end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • 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!