RTS - What if...? -1 reply

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James340

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12th April 2006

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#1 10 years ago

You know, when it comes down to it, the RTS genre really does have a long way to go doesn't it? It's all "gather resources and build ships in seconds" How much cooler would a game be if it was a bit of a wider, but more focused scope? I was looking at Sins of a Solar Empire and thinking, this game could be so much cooler. What if, like a real Commander, you had no control over the Bureaucrats and what they put funding into? You had the fleet as it were, but no control over the R&D for new weapons. The Government/ruling body (...AI...:p) would make new ships for your fleet that it wanted to make, do the research it wanted, colonise worlds it wanted to colonise (after you scouted them out) and so on. This would take you out of the role of 'all seeing and doing emperor/whatever' and put you into the more dedicated role of a simple commander. You have you're fleet(s) and thats it. Oddly enough, initially I was thinking about how cool a star trek game/mod would be if it placed you in the Dominion War. You could be the commander of a single fleet, like the 7th Fleet, or the 9th, or whatever. The AI would send you messages like "Try and take the Rumada Sector" or "liberate Benzar" or "Reinforce Vulcan" You would then take the ships at your command (120 odd) and do with those what you would to complete the current assignmet. Be it softening up an area by raiding their supply ships, and then attacking an under-supplied enemy, or using small hit-and-fade tactics to destroy an enemy fleet that outnumbered your fleet, and so on. And those assignments might change rapidly due to enemy activity. IE ,you've been ordered to attack a planet, and you start doing that. But, as you're attacking, another enemy fleet attacks a nearby sector. You have to break off, and reinforce the under-attack-sector. Also, the game wouldn't stop if you failed an objective. You may be attacked while defending a planet, and have to fall back. The AI then sends new orders for several fleets (including yours?) to retake the planet. If you and/or other fleets succeed/fail, it impacts everything. Losses would be reported to "command" and the AI would send you reserves when/if it deemed it could/when they are constructed (would take time). It would still have the other (43 in starfleets case) fleets to look after, manevoure, supply, etc. Co-ordinating such a vast force would be far to hard for a single player, but easy for an AI/ruling body. This way, say you attacked a large enemy fleet, but they got the better of you and destroyed many of your ships, you have to fall back. Instead of your 120 ships, you now have 70. The AI has to reprioritise your fleet. You can't be used as an assault fleet now, so it gives you raiding missions, and uses you to reinforce positions that have also suffered losses. This would make you a part of the wider conflict that you have no direct control over, just like a real war. You may be totally successful in an attack, but the enemy may have destroyed the 15th and 24th fleets in a seperate attack, which means you have to reinforce their position, or maybe it means that you've been outflanked meaning you have to fall back. Or perhaps even totally cut off, and have to defend youself until the ruling body/AI can counterattack and break the enciclement. In this way, you may get orders that you aren't happy with, but its out of your hands. You have to defend such-and-such an area with a small force against a large enemy. It also means you don't have to have to worry about everything, from 'taxes' to resource collection to ship building to research. In current "overall command" RTS games, people can get very involved in a single attack, and therefore don't realise that they've been obliterated futher down the line. Or focus to much on base building and research, just to be wiped out because they didn't build enough ships to defend themselves or their resource operations. Now don't get me wrong, resources and such would still be needed, like metal and money and all that. But that's not your problem. The AI gathers and spends the resources. It just might assign your fleet (or another AI Fleet) to protect those resource operations/supply ships/shipyards. This is the kind of game that would be endlessly replayable, since the conflict would never go the same way twice! The AI's might act completely differently, meaning you get a huge variety in missions and goals. This is the kind of game that I want. Am I alone in this? Or do others agree??




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#2 10 years ago

If you did it that way then the AI would manage to start a war with everybody else and your empire would be strategically annihilated, while your winning a few tactical battles.

No thanks, I am happy with having complete strategic control over the empire. :)




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#3 10 years ago

Actually, it isn't that bad an idea. Played something years ago called MechWarrior4: Mercenaries which is based on similar ideas. The most difficult part would be scripting out three storylines: win, lose, draw. You'd have to have some missions which served as...switches, I guess, to allow the player to move between the story lines.

The player would still have some limited control over resources in that he'd be responsible for acquiring them, just not able to spend them as he preferred. For example, some ships would only be available in a limited amount. Or, some technologies require the player capture and garrison certain areas within his area of operations. loss of these areas would mean the player would be unable to produce more of that kind of technology until all the requirements were met again.

Even so, the game would be very much more structured than current RTS titles. Online play would not be different at all from what we have now. Unless the dev team created a Mission play option or added in some set piece battles.




Jetfreak

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20th April 2007

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#4 10 years ago

Your concept seems very similar for the gamplay features I planned for this fictional ST game :D StarTrek-TDW.jpg




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#5 10 years ago

As they say, "Great minds think alike". Well, since it is a fictional ST game, I guess serving you with a fictional lawsuit over intellectual property infringement for my share of the fictional royalties would pointless. ;)




DarkEnergy

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12th April 2006

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#6 10 years ago

correct me, if i am wrong, but:

-having fixed resources and no mining stations, having a fixed amount of vessels and no ship/upgrade facility - all that can be done in a mission. depends on the mission techtree. right? much harder would it be to limit the AI the same way i guess - or is this a question of the mission techtree as well?




James340

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12th April 2006

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#7 10 years ago

I'm not talking about Armada II specificly. in fact, I'm kinda just throwing a random idea out there. With luck the AI wouldn't just attack eveybody, but thats in the design I guess. I loved your game covers bro. especially the excelsior and ambassador ones :) I guess my point is that developers need to take a few risks and say " you know what, lets not follow the EXACT same format of gathering resources nd building advanced ships in seconds. lets break the mould. do something different!" I'm just tired of of the same idea rehashed again and again and again, on different games/engines. it kinda gets boring. I think the above idea, if realised, would be a revolution in RTS games...you have to make plans and strategies based on the ships you have. you cant just attack, lose your ships, and rebuild in seconds. you have to use what you've already got soundly and cleverly for victory. and that force needs to live on so that you can keep winning.




StarBlade

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#8 10 years ago
James340;4383738I guess my point is that developers need to take a few risks and say " you know what, lets not follow the EXACT same format of gathering resources nd building advanced ships in seconds. lets break the mould. do something different!"

I've been PC-gaming since the days when "insert game disc" meant a 5 1/4" floppy disk, and I can tell you this:

The only time a PC game uses anything resembling innovation is when the company is doing well, and they can afford to take those kinds of risks. How often does that happen? Not very damn often. And certainly not often enough.

New, shiny graphics pasted on the same old game engines. Even so-called "innovative" games like Halo matter more for what shoots at you and how you shoot at them.

There's nothing new in gaming that hasn't been done the same way a thousand times before, with a "gimmick" innovation that supposedly makes it worth our efforts.

For RTS games, there's either the Civ-style mass strategy type games or the WarCraft type myopic tactical games. Some games like EaW and Rome Total War combine one with the other. SoaSE seems to blend the two in a simply massive format, and working in the StarCraft innovation-- instead of two mostly-balanced sides or some multiple of two, they have three.

I really don't know what to tell you, except not to look for the sorts of things you're talking about in a stock PC game. Leave that sort of thing to the modding community. There's some neat stuff in the BC mods pipeline that sounds like what you're looking for-- might be worth checking out.

But anything "meh" about a stock game is often vastly improved with a few of the right downloads.

:cool:




James340

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#9 10 years ago

yea, you're right. just sucks really. though I am curious...am i one of the few that thinks the kind of game described above would be a lot of fun?




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#10 10 years ago

I too would like game developers to think outside the box. However, such a project must be commercially viable and have this proven by market interest studies beforehand. Developing a whole new game from scratch is a huge financial undertaking which takes years of work. HALO, the Blizzard games, and the Command and Conquer series are the exception rather than the rule. Game companies are just like any other company which markets a product. If it is selling well, get something out there now to get a piece of the action. As evidence look at all the WWII titles and HALO clones available right now.

Modders on the other hand, do not answer to a Marketing Director. We all get to do what we want to do to a game because we like the game. As long as a game can be modded, someone somewhere can adjust said game to include the things you're asking for. It may not be an exact match. but with time and experience, it will be very very close.