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Novel idea for a RTS

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  • User profile image
    androidi

    I thought about the best strategy game I've played recently and why it's better than most/all RTS games I've played. Like Star Craft's, Supreme Commander's and Command & Conquer series.

     

    Then it dawned. I really don't like the the realtime race to build bases, gather resources, and all that setup. It's fun a couple times and then it gets tedious.

     

    Solution?

     

    I thought about the best "realtime" strategy game, Magic the Gathering. It has solved this problem by allowing players to build a deck of cards ( = the base development (figure out the combos/amount of cards and lands to use), research (figuring out the cards to put in), resource gathering (finding/trading the cards)) before the actual player vs player online match begins.

     

    So, is my idea novel in the context of games like SC / C&C series RTS, or are there such RTS war games that allow players to build a whole base and do the technology research before the actual game, then save that base and use it over and over and fine tune it between matches? I actually do recall certain use made maps from Star Craft 1 that had bases pre-built and then the human players defended the base against AI but that's not what I mean here. I mean ability to use points to pre-build base on a map, load it into online game and then play against humans with your pre-planned base and technology. It's also a lot more realistic than the common scenario in RTS games where new technology and units are developed/built during a match lasting couple minute to couple hours.

  • User profile image
    ManipUni

    You do realise almost all of the games you listed don't have you build a base in the traditional sense, right?

  • User profile image
    androidi

    ManipUni said:

    You do realise almost all of the games you listed don't have you build a base in the traditional sense, right?

    So I put couple popular names to get your attention. (I haven't actually played the latest versions of those games (saw others play in YT though) except Supreme Commander 2 where there seem to be a plenty of base building) But is there something that's more close to what I described?

  • User profile image
    DCMonkey

    I don't know of any games where you pre-build a base and then churn out the units in realtime, but there have been a number of games where you start with a set force and play in real time. The genre is referred to as Real-Time Tactics (RTT). Warhammer:Mark of Chaos was one where you could build your force from points before the battle.

  • User profile image
    ManipUni

    androidi said:
    ManipUni said:
    *snip*

    So I put couple popular names to get your attention. (I haven't actually played the latest versions of those games (saw others play in YT though) except Supreme Commander 2 where there seem to be a plenty of base building) But is there something that's more close to what I described?

    I'm not sure I know of many games that work like that. I'm not sure that is a game I would be into, since base building and resource management is the core of RTS games (the "units"/battles are just the result of good base construction/resource collection).

     

    If you did design a game like that then the units/battles/strategy would have to be REALLY top-notch or else making an unfun game.

  • User profile image
    rhm

    The flaw with your concept is that it would lead to two possible outcomes: Either one 'best' premade design would dominate and everyone would be forced to use that (rather like the Rogue-Mage-Priest is almost universal in WoW arena matches). Or if somehow, against the odds, the game designers managed to achieve a degree of balance where there wasn't one best configuration and everything was equal, it would make the base building exercise pointless.

     

    By making the base/unit setup part of the real-time it allows for variation in games due to player error. There is also a chess middle-game aspect where they might start with a standard opening that they've played hundreds of times before, but they are forced to respond to the other player's strategy before they have completed it which leads to a rock-paper-scissors-spock-lizard variation of outcomes even when players go with well-worn strategies.

  • User profile image
    androidi

    rhm said:

    The flaw with your concept is that it would lead to two possible outcomes: Either one 'best' premade design would dominate and everyone would be forced to use that (rather like the Rogue-Mage-Priest is almost universal in WoW arena matches). Or if somehow, against the odds, the game designers managed to achieve a degree of balance where there wasn't one best configuration and everything was equal, it would make the base building exercise pointless.

     

    By making the base/unit setup part of the real-time it allows for variation in games due to player error. There is also a chess middle-game aspect where they might start with a standard opening that they've played hundreds of times before, but they are forced to respond to the other player's strategy before they have completed it which leads to a rock-paper-scissors-spock-lizard variation of outcomes even when players go with well-worn strategies.

    I do agree that MTG isn't entirely immune to this 'flaw'.  However, I think it could be worked around:

     

    I think if the games are always hosted on a controlled server/environment, there could be some kind of self-balancing mechanism. eg: Suppose the technology available to all players kept constantly advancing, similar as to MMO's are being updated frequently. This would mean that it would make "story wise" perfect sense that if you have currently a superior base build that is getting constant wins, there is a "root node server" that kept track of the games stat/build wise on all servers and advanced other technology than what was used in your currently superior build. I could see this being possibly fully automatic.

     

    \/\/\/

     

    Well lets suppose the RTS was large scale and required more bases. I think what I'd like to do is have a set of base designs built up, and then as the match progressed I'd have some amount of resource points left which I could during the match use to setup front-line/mobile base based on those existing plans. This would be kinda similar mechanic to the side-deck in MTG where when you play a match (3 games with same deck), you can between the swap a percentage of the deck for cards you had prepared for that allowing some flexibility.

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    I'd have to say that base-building and setting up the attack are far more fun for me than the actual attack. Setting up a grand strategy rather than responding to battle conditions.

     

    Supreme Commander requires multiple bases built as the game progresses or you'll be waiting for ages to get your attack force across the map. It took me a while to realize this and the game got a lot more fun.

     

    I think the real reason RTS games aren't as fun anymore is that there is little focus on the story. The original C&C was awesome because of the fantastic briefing videos before each level. "I'm Seth, just Seth. From God to Kane to Seth. I am his right hand, and I have a task for you." And then the mission where Kane comes in and shoots Seth in the head. Fantastic entertainment. It was like watching an interactive movie.

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