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jplocster

RTS level design improvements

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jplocster    122
I have never coded a RTS so I''m not sure what this would entail (I have finished two 3d games though) but one thing I wish RTS games (Age of Empires, Startcraft type stuff) would have in their levels is an active landscape. For example, when I play Age of Empires if I cut down all the trees, none will grow back. Why not include some element in the game to remedy this. For instance, a tree would be more likely to grow where a lot of soldiers or animals were killed or perhaps have animals grow to an unruly population such that they bother your villagers if you do not hunt them to an exceptable level. I think this characteristic of being "alive" would greatly enhance the series. From my previous coding experience, I think it should be a manageable task. Any thoughts?

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Waverider    169
Sure, the task is managable. But something else that emerges is how it effects the mechanics of the game. Specifically on the tree regrowth part:

Does a player then promote battling near the trees he has chopped down in the hopes that more would grow? Does the player that was "lucky enough" to lose units near a tree win the day because he gets more wood?

What if the trees just grow back anyway, how does that affect the balance of needing wood?

Having to control the animal population by sending out hunters, I think, would be a use of units that draws away from the primary task of dispatching your enemy. The hunter I suppose could be a food harvester, but I think the idea of harvesting is accepted as collecting inert supplies, not supplies that attack the town if you don't collect them.

This is just my take. I'm not meaning to shoot down your ideas. I'm just bringing up counterpoints is all, for your consideration.


[edited by - Waverider on June 7, 2002 5:34:21 PM]

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jplocster    122
Cool. I agree with what you are saying waverider, but I was only giving those as an idea. My real intent was to get ideas from people on how to make the environment alive and still add to the gameplay in a good way. So, any ideas?

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Xai    1848
well ... there is a BIG difference in the type of changes you want in a grand game like age of empires and empire earth, over games like starcraft.

The things needed in games like starcraft (action military) are largely destrucable terrain, and such, which many companies are adding to their games ... (but MANY more good ideas exists as well)

But for a game like AOE ... there is an enourmous amount of potential to both add game play and increase realism. You mentioned the conditioned or time based growth of resources ... but there are many variations on this ... rivers flooding or changing path, herds of aminals growing scarce or dominant (too many wolves make forrest pretty hard to cut down), the encroachment of plantlife, or the pollution of food and water supplies (kinda like civilizations use of global warming) ...

I personally think 2 things could be added for a mediveal type game ... have the ground form trails and roads automatically as the villigers and army crosses them a lot. And maybe even allow villagers to go into forests, and scout units, but not an ARMY ... they must cut a path ... or go around. Game play wise the trails and roads could yield both faster movement, and lower fatigure ... as well as being usable by the AI to locate enemy towns automaticall (if you see a road ... you can follow it - or avoid it) ....

Second, game (hunted food) ... could move away from settlements, as they increase in size ... so your cities would start out hunters and become farmers (like in AOE) ... but you could leave hunting in as a way to supply the army - or as something your army does when it''s in the field ... taking the burden of food off of your city ... so that way, an active army can benifit you by bringing in spoils, increasing morale, and lightening the load on their home city ... a standing army could increase moral when under threat, but cost the city food and such.

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Overload    122
Or if you do not use some of your villagers for ages they slowly die, to get rid of that "I have too many villagers, but nothing for them to do!" comment. Or players can bring resources such as: trees, animals, etc from one side of the map and move them to another side of the map if there are not many of that type of resource on the other side ... just a few ideas.

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Dak Lozar    122
jplocster,

Ooooo, now that would be cool... I''m a big fan of RTSes (I’ve been designing one for the past five years) and I think this would add an extra layer of strategy to the game that has been lacking. From my experience playing RTSes once someone finds all the resources it’s just a matter of plundering them and holding on to them till the game is over – with re-growth that would put a cool twist on the game – You create it, I’ll play it

Dave "Dak Lozar" Loeser †

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Overload    122
Yeah what he said: "You create it, I’ll play it". What have you done so far on the game? ''cos this game sounds really cool an I wanna play it!

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Dauntless    314
Well, deformable terrain is one thing, but you have to consider the time scale for something like regrowing forests. It''d take years for forests to grow back and in my reality-based mind, I''d have trouble swallowing regrowing forests.

However, having cities turn to rubble which makes it impassable for armored vehicles, or burning forests would pretty cool. Other ideas could be real weather effects, swamps with current, or having alien atmospheres.

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