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uncutno

my RTS : try thinking in new ways..

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uncutno    146
Hello... I want to create a all new RTS! Now.. im not talking about changing the name of all units, give them new stats, and redraw the graphics, im talking about starting from the ground, and try to change the basics... for example: *The world will be a 3D sphere with the size of a big city (like a realy realy realy smal planet... (with gravity!!! :-) ) ) where you can move all around... no borders.. This will give the game a new look, but maybe not change gameplay aloth.. *Your base will be a spaceship thats landed, and transformed into a base... ewerything will be in place from the start, but you can upgrade it, and you keep the base-ship for next mission (also the units inside on takeof) *Fewer units... no hack and slash and die gameplay... rather fewer units with better defined commands (not just attack) (because of the 3D worlds poligon draw limitations) *Resorce management is done by AI.. *When you create a unit factory, you have to spesify what kind of unit to create.. you build your own units! (all robots of corse..) and add parts together to different units.. Maybe you can have 1-10 different factories on the base-ship, and you can either build expensive strong heavy tanks, of light fast cheep week walkers... (or both , player choose, no need to say more) *The story will not be linear, because you bring your base, you get a list of missions.. if to difficult, you die , if to easy.. it should go fast.. *The game is going to be a rather simple RTS, but i want it to be a simple but original one! Now i wonder... anyone have any realy new ideas? Not ideas like :"all the units can have 5 different weapons" or "Buildings should build slower the units" or "no fog of war" or "Is should be in the medival times"... Do anyone have any revolutionary ideas or any comments on mine?

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Sandman    2210
quote:
Original post by uncutno
Now i wonder... anyone have any realy new ideas? Not ideas like :"all the units can have 5 different weapons" or "Buildings should build slower the units" or "no fog of war" or "Is should be in the medival times"... Do anyone have any revolutionary ideas or any comments on mine?



Yes, we do. Quite a lot of ideas get posted on here about how to make a very different RTS, I''d recommend doing a search.

quote:

*The world will be a 3D sphere with the size of a big city (like a realy realy realy smal planet... (with gravity!!! :-) ) ) where you can move all around... no borders.. This will give the game a new look, but maybe not change gameplay aloth..



It will change gameplay. By making a wraparound world, you lose the ''corners'' of the map, which typically have a greater defensive value than central regions. You can also launch your attacks from any direction, and be attacked from any direction.

quote:

*Fewer units... no hack and slash and die gameplay... rather fewer units with better defined commands (not just attack)
(because of the 3D worlds poligon draw limitations)



While I agree that better defined commands are needed, you still need to keep things simple, or the interface will become cluttered and the game will become unplayable. I played a demo of a game recently which claimed to offer a huge range of commands to the player, and it did, but the interface was so clunky that the game was just no fun at all.

For my own design, I am looking at a real time adaptation of the orders system in the Games Workshop''s Epic turn based table top game.

quote:

*Resorce management is done by AI..



...this begs the question, why bother with resource management at all if the player doesn''t have any influence over it?

quote:

*When you create a unit factory, you have to spesify what kind of unit to create.. you build your own units! (all robots of corse..) and add parts together to different units..
Maybe you can have 1-10 different factories on the base-ship, and you can either build expensive strong heavy tanks, of light fast cheep week walkers... (or both , player choose, no need to say more)



Personally, I don''t think user designed units add a great deal to a game. It is too long winded a procedure to appeal to the hardcore gamers, a complete nightmare to balance, and in the end doesn''t offer much in the way of diversity or fun anyway. Far better in my opinion to work out a reasonable number of fixed units which complement each others abilities in a well defined way. Also, avoid RPS balancing, it is horrible.

If you really want to have user designed units, let the player do this in between battles rather than during them, in a sort of R&D phase. You could get quite detailed this way, having a mechwarrior-esque design screen enabling you to REALLY design your own units. Good luck on balancing this though

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TheFez    151
Actually what your suggesting isn''t that new really. 3D world (Homeworld, etc. are 3D, its just a new spin on it) Your base being your spaceship (Force Commander, etc.) Keep the same ship throughout the game (old game in early 1990s, can''t remember the name but you went planet to planet conquering worlds. Always kept the same ship during the game, units, etc.) Fewer units, more defined roles/commands (Myth,etc.) AI resource management (Shogun: Total War) Different parts, different units, etc. (Can''t remember the game but you went around stealing genetic material from creatures and making new creatures from that. Really bad game.) Limit on number of factories, etc. (Mostly done by turn based strat games, but oh well).

Really what you have is a combination of a bunch of games put into one game. Sounds interesting and if done well I''d play it. Just not sure I''d say anything in there is truly new. But then again I haven''t seen anything new (truly new) in about 10 years now.

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uncutno    146
Thanks.. i agree :-)

My point is that most posts just have millions of posts talking about changing one function in a standard rather complex RTS world... i created this thread, aweare of all the others: "do we like fog of war in RTS" and "micro or macro management in RTS" posts....

my intention was to se if somone had any ideas that could change the whole RTS defenition? , so please dont make me read all the millions of posts... :-) They are often about changing a spesific feuture in RTS standard.. i want to change RTS standard (At least in my little simple game!)


I gues non of my ideas are new, but they are not common, and they changes more to the game, then removing fog-of-war would have done...

But maybe maybe out there somwhere , there is a new idea? :-)


alos... GTA3 was not new either... FPS + CAR GAME = HYBRID...
i want RTS_GAMEPLAY + STRANGE_SETTING = RTS! :-)

[edited by - uncutno on April 29, 2002 11:58:37 AM]

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Well, I''ve had this idea for a time now. Maybe it''s hard to understand or see the new stuff in it, but the basics is:
Living units.
What I belive kills most of the new RTSs out there is that it''s not even cool when a hundred of units crashe into eachother. They usually run up to eachother and then stands still shooting til one of em gets killed.

But what about this:
A soldier-unit run for his life as a tank comes round a corner. While doing so his helmet falls down to the ground. He screams and waves his hands to warn his friends. On the run he stamps into a rock and flies down to the ground. He starts crying and screaming even more. He tries to crawl away, but the tank is already there.

You see, screams and realistic behaviour would give a lot of realism to a RTS.
What if you give commands to a squad commander with a com-radio, and he then tells the foot units what to do? The player not having total control of the units would give a good sense of realism to the game.
If you just put a LOT of effort on the details, like dropped helmets and soldiers smoking between fights and human behaviour you could create something totaly new...

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uncutno    146
I guess a couple of emotional factors would be great (fear,borednes,happynes,horror!)... eyecandy mostly(exept retreating soldiers)... maybe i could add it in a simple form..
but thats later in the proces..

I like the standard_RTS direct control thing... A comand chain would just be in the way if you only got 15 units...
(Maybe a combination :-) you could command your units to be afraid, happy, bored? :-) )...

Both of these you can just add to the standard_RTS like a new feature on top of all the old once.., and therefore this will be second hand stuff , because im only one, and i want it simple.. :-)

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bangz    119
howz about adapting your idea to multiple planets! You can have around 5-50 planets, each with their own advantages and disadvantages as far as resource management and defense goes!


just a thought...
bangz.

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striker1111    122
I think this living units is a very good idea, but hard to implent because you need LOTS of animations. Another idea is giving the units their own will. For example when a group of soldiers has no orders they start to patrol a little bit or shot an animals and if you let them alone a VERY long time, they build up their tents or something.

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uncutno    146
Multiple worlds! I Gues thats new! JIPPI!
With maybe 3-5 other enemy base-ships flying around... when you leave units on a planet, you canot controle them, until you get back (some basic radio systems hould hovewer be posible)... you could also add satelites to some of the planets as defence, so that you could create a strong "home world"...
You would fight the enemy, by concuring all planets, or with a direct hit... you could also hide on planets until enemies land there

this must be new!

total destruction weapons would be nice here... wipe out ewerything on a planet... (this must be created well though)

[edited by - uncutno on April 29, 2002 12:36:11 PM]

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Dactylos    122
That idea about setting the game on the surface of a sphere was done by "Populous: The Beginning" (aka Populous 3). Check it out if you haven''t already (there''s a demo somewhere on the net).

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Sandman    2210
Multiple worlds at once would be a micromanagement nightmare in my opinion. (and it isn't new either - Earth 2050 I think it was called...) You would have to constantly flit between worlds and make sure you aren't getting your ass kicked on each of them.

The idea that your units behave like human beings rather than mindless cannon fodder is a good one though. Morale is an important factor in combat yet underused in most RTS games - instead we have godlike control over all our men and they will happily die for us.

The hard part is balancing the morale system such that it becomes an accepted gameplay factor, rather than annoying the player with loss of control.


[edited by - Sandman on April 29, 2002 12:49:32 PM]

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uncutno    146
The multi world would not be planet flipping, bacause the base is on your ship, and you can bring aloth of units aswell... you can also only control the planet your base-ship is on... so its not about building a base on ewery planet, its about creating a super base-ship, by moving betwean different planets.. maybe just 5-8 of them... 1-3 have aloth of resorces, and the rest are just stone?
Think of the space betwean the planets as the rivers and mountains in ordenary RTS...
of course, the interface will be smooth and fast.. i also hate the MicroMicro Uninportant Managing...

The living units is eyecandy, and will not change the RTS standard by itselfe!

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Sandman    2210
quote:
Original post by uncutno
The multi world would not be planet flipping, bacause the base is on your ship, and you can bring aloth of units aswell... you can also only control the planet your base-ship is on... so its not about building a base on ewery planet, its about creating a super base-ship, by moving betwean different planets.. maybe just 5-8 of them... 1-3 have aloth of resorces, and the rest are just stone?
Think of the space betwean the planets as the rivers and mountains in ordenary RTS...
of course, the interface will be smooth and fast.. i also hate the MicroMicro Uninportant Managing...



I still don't understand how this improves the game. If one planet has resources and the others don't, then everyone just fights over the planet with resources. If all planets have equal resources, then.. everyone just mills about the planets as they please, occasionally having a fight. And since half the fights will be on different planet to that which your opponent is on, you spend most your time fighting the AI rather than your human opponent.

quote:

The living units is eyecandy, and will not change the RTS standard by itselfe!


Uh, no, if you implemented it properly then it affects the way the units behave, not just the animation.
And this could have a big difference on the way the game plays.


[edited by - Sandman on April 29, 2002 1:08:09 PM]

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uncutno    146
Sandman:

Because the planets will be realy smal, and insted of having 50 missions to choose from, some of the missions are in the same systems so when you enter a system with 10 planets where there are 3-6 missions around.. from simple to hard... This way, the player are more free to choose tactics and so on... It will remove linearity of the missions, and instead give you 5 systems with 5 missions in each, gives you 25 missions to choose from, do at the same time, or skip! ... thats why it will improve...

And please tell we how Living Soldiers would do major changes in the gameplay...

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bangz    119
quote:
Original post by uncutno
Sandman:

And please tell we how Living Soldiers would do major changes in the gameplay...


Who can forget Dungeon Keeper 2''s ability 2 slap your minions around! :-)



bangz.

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Sandman    2210
quote:
Original post by uncutno
Because the planets will be realy smal, and insted of having 50 missions to choose from, some of the missions are in the same systems so when you enter a system with 10 planets where there are 3-6 missions around.. from simple to hard... This way, the player are more free to choose tactics and so on... It will remove linearity of the missions, and instead give you 5 systems with 5 missions in each, gives you 25 missions to choose from, do at the same time, or skip! ... thats why it will improve...



It is an interesting way of presenting a campaign, but it doesn't seem to make much difference to the core gameplay. Also, how does this work in multiplayer? A lot of RTS players couldn't give a damn about the single player game.

quote:

And please tell we how Living Soldiers would do major changes in the gameplay...


The player no longer has godlike control over his units. Instead, he must consider the morale of his own troops as well as the morale of his opponents.

I've not played it, but I am told that Sid Meiers Gettysburg has a good morale system. Troops which are getting their asses kicked will run away, but may be able to regroup and return to the fray later. However, surround some troops with sufficient forces and they surrender, effectively taking them out of the game permanently. Apparently the better players can wipe out most people's armies without even killing a single man. Manouvering your troops becomes an important factor - if your men are routed then they may be out of action for a while, but they come back. If you let them get completely cut off however, then you might lose them for good.






[edited by - Sandman on April 29, 2002 1:36:15 PM]

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Well, actually its more like, tell me what living soldiers would not change in the gameplay...

If the battlefield becomes alive.. If you feel the fear in your combatants eyes.. If you see an explosion ripping off ones arm.. I belive this would do some changes to your aproach to a RTS. Units would be important for real, not because they carry a big bazooka, but because you care.
Watching the playfield in a good RTS should be like watching a good war movie. You should be able to just watch a soldier for hours as he''s sneeking around in a village, without being bored. If theres panic on the screen, you should feel it!

This is not about graphics.. It''s about giving the game life, a spirit of its own. A realtime game like this would create new standards.

(I''ve got these incredible scenes of it in my head... It''s kinda hard to get it down in text.. Hope you understand anyway..)

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uncutno    146
Ok, i understand, and i agree... a living game would be great..

My point is... if we take it to the basics, we replace units with boxes, remove sounds, and replace the interface with simple wireframes and text.... now what you got is the gameplay... you dont got the realism, and i guess it would be a boring gameplay but anyway...

In standard RTS you tell your unit to attack, and it attack until it dies, or target dies...

In living RTS, you would tell you unit to attack, then A: it would attack, or B: it would not attack, based on factors like fear, panic and sutch...

The difference would be that its imposible to do bad commands... It would be imposible to loose an army in a fight, because the army would surender and they are not part of the game anymore...

RTS standard:
Smal Army Attacks Big Army = Smal Army Dies = Smal Army out of game...

Living RTS:
Smal Army Attacks Big Army = Smal Army Surenders = Smal Army out of game...

Of course i understand what a great plessure it would be to see the troops react like humans would, but the result would be the same...

RTS stadard:
Big Army sorunds Smal Army = Big Army Kill Smal Army = Smal Army out of game..

Living RTS:
Big Army sorunds Smal Army = Smal Army Surenders = Smal Army out of game..

You understand my point?

Isnt it realistic that comanders send their troops into fights they cant win? I agree that some soldiers would escape when the understan they are going to die...

But it would be unrealistic if soldiers calculated the chanse for victory, and escaped if chanses was to small...

If a soldier saw another soldier lose its arm, would he panic, or would he be so angry that he attacked ewen stronger?

These are the reasons i say Living RTS wouldnt change that much of the core gameplay....

Also the dungeon keeper example:
You tell minion to do stuff = it do it slow = you slapp it = it do it fast...

is it realy different in gamelogic to:

You tell minion to do stuff fast (by a button) = it do it fast...

Living RTS is just a way to make it more realistic, but your caomands , and the results are basicly the same..

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Sandman    2210
Not really.

I actually downloaded and played the Gettysburg demo this evening. The interface takes a bit of getting used to, and there are a few things that could be improved, but it is very different from your run of the mill RTS.

Wiping out a regiment is difficult. Regiments tend to flee long before they get wiped out, and although this takes them out of the battle for a while, they are free to come back later once they have rallied. An enemy who fails to take this into account might find himself in trouble as units he thought were gone manouver to his flanks. However, a surrounded unit which surrenders REALLY IS LOST. It is hard to do, but if you can do it it is quicker than killing them. Also, the direction you attack from makes a difference, units being attacked from the flanks or rear run much quicker than units being attacked from the front.

All this means that the position of your troops can make a big difference to the outcome of the battle. Compare this with your conventional RTS, where, in all but a few cases, the main factors are number of units and (if it is one of the better RTS''s) type of units.

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Dauntless    314
Is it just me or are there a lot of newly registered people here now?

There have been lots of original ideas posted by many people here in this forum on how to revolutionize RTS games. From command and control issues, to resource gathering/manufacturing, to artificially intelligent commanders to supply and logistics to name but a few. Even issues like game balancing and mission success (and the purpose thereof) issues have been covered in this forum. If you do a search on the forum, you''ll discover quite a few intriguing ideas.

As for your own game, what is the rationale behind the game? I''ve come to the point in my own game design philosophy that I''m actually more interested in the game world in some respects than the game mechanics. In other words, what is the purpose of the game in the first place? I think without a storyline, games are just kind of mindless sports. That''s my own personal opinion, since some people like to play games without any inherent purpose as long as its fun to play.

But as has been mentioned recently in the article about games as a form of speech....I honestly think other than a handful of exceptions, no one has created a game that is worthy of being called a story.

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Dauntless    314
uncutno-
I think what you describe as a "living army" is really nothing more than morale at work. I''ve been a huge proponent of this as well, and going beyond even that. I think that the player should not have god-like control over the units under his command. Just because a player orders a unit to do something does not mean that they will automatically obey.

In terms of programming, the units would have to have a domain knowledge of risk assesment. It would have to look at the opponent it is facing and determine what kinds of odds it is looking at. Also, the base morale and discipline of the unit would be factors as well.

Orders or commands should be far more fluid, dynamic and varied than what exists today. Even something as simple as "attack" should have different modes. Evasive attacks, all out assaults, feints, etc etc. I think that the AI of units in RTS games need to be vastly increased to do many of the tricks suggested, but this will happen eventually.

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uncutno    146
I guess it coud be done with just a couple of factors...
fear,moral,boredness,pride(:-))...

I also like the more then one type of attack thing... but how would you inplement this whitout creating a hell of micro management? You would need a type of menu system like The top viewed WW2 Microsoft game... (dont remember name)...
If you have to many commands, you have to speed down the game, so that you can handle all the comanding....

My game is going to be robots only... But it would be cool if even robots got afraid :-)

But this is sort of a : add 10 commands to all units...
I want to hear about new stuff, like do we want commands att all? Of course we want, but is point and click the best system....

Its important to have a easy starting interface, so that new players easely and fast can get into the game...
Thats alsy why i wounder if its a good idea to add a AI layer betwean the player and your units...

I would rather see a system where the strategies is imortant important important.... So that one wrong move could result in loosing a army, but only god choises would make you almost invinsible....

...dont know realy...

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Sandman    2210
Actually I am not sure that the unit AI needs to be that much better - if it gets too good then the players role in the game becomes less important.

Rather than try to make the unit AI second guess what the player wants it to do (you can garauntee that half the time it will do the exact opposite of what he wants anyway), simply make its behaviour consistent, so that the player can predict how it will react in a certain situation. Also, make the default behaviour reasonably sensible. Nothing is more annoying than units that wander off on their own accord, trying to chase some enemy they have no hope of catching, only to wander blindly into enemy territory and get killed.

Also, rather than clutter the interface with thousands of different order types, keep it down to a small number (I have three) and let different units interpret them in the most appropriate way. When am I ever going to want to order my Super Heavy Death Tank to do a stealthy hit and run attack? It is far too slow for such an operation - if the option were available it would be redundant anyway, and therefore unnecessary. Conversely, how often am I going to want to attempt a blitzkreig style attack with my elite commandos? Finally, including multipurpose troops which might be capable of either tactic defeats the point of role-based unit design, and you end up with a dominating unit.

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Dauntless    314
SAndman-
THat''s a good point about different units recognizing its own capabilities and thereby determining appropriate courses of action. If an AI commander is in charge of a main battle tank group, it''s highly unlikely that he will perform stealth maneouvers. This in turn begs the question, how does a unit or AI commander take a units capabilities and then create a table of commands from it? I realize it''s more of a game programming question, but it does have interface considerations which falls under the realm of game design.

I haven''t put a whole lot of thought into my game''s GUI. I''m still juggling around certain concepts, but I wonder how I''m going to be able to have the player issue commands? In my game however, the player doesn''t directly order units, he does so through an AI commander proxy. But the AI commander will still have to know how to control the units.

I''m even wondering if there can be a sort of roleplaying element to my game. I started thinking about uncutno''s concept of a "living" army. Indeed, my own concept falls into this catgeory, as I want my game to be a simulation of leadership. As uncotno wants units to have personalities, I actually think this is a good idea. Certain commanders may have a penchant for being overzealous, or conversely too timid. "training" your commanders could be part and parcel of the game...sort of a multi-avatar version of Black and White, but you don''t have to teach your AI commanders from scratch. The commanders can learn on their own as well as get reinforcement from the player as well.

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Grimjack    122
Living units - I''d say check out the close combat series (WW2 rts/wargame). While it didn''t feature the full ''living units'' described by you guys it does have morale and psychology. Units could become scared, fatigued, paniced, rallies, berzerk (it was quite fun to see a lone rifleman charge a tank) and heroic depending on the battlefield situation. Furthermore the units morale depended a lot on its experience. Green units would panic easier...

The gameplay becomes a little slower and since the morale was important you could basically forget about suicide attacks. The soldiers would panic before doing any good.

Multiple commands - Context sensitive orders would be preferable, i.e. the game understands what command you want to give depending on where you click and with what unit you have selected. I guess it all comes down to the available commands. Sudden Strike (another ww2 wargame) had lots of commands available for each unit.



::aggression is the result of fear::

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