RTS Gameplay

Posts: 4
Joined: 2008.08
Post: #1
Hi. I'm new here. Well, not really. I've been lurking around for a week or so. I decided I'd come and actually post something now.

Now you're probably about to think: "Oh no! Another newbie. She'll probably come up and want to immediately make a Mmorpg with no programming knowledge."

Well, that's not strictly true. I'm not making a MMORPG. But I do only have limited programming knowledge. (I made a simple application in cocoa). I'm actually an artist, although I would like to become better at OBJ C.

Anyway, onto topic.

I'm a member of a new game studio. Well, more of a group of people who want to make games. We've already made a simple chess game, and we decided to go slightly bigger.

Remember those old Tower Defense games? Yeah, it's like one of those. Yet it also is like a RTS (multiplayer too) Anywho, the reason I came here today is because I would like YOUR opinion on a certain matter.
We are trying to decide whether to have a player to collect resources, or just gain money from the kills they get.

We have a few ideas.
1. You gain money per kills to give you a set amount of money, this money was later used to build towers, units, etc. The money would have money effecters giving you a percentile increase in the money.

The problem with this is that it may not be a good system, I can see a few weaknesses in it myself, such as if you waste all your money and no one attacks you, you're pretty screwed along with that it's highly beneficial for the player currently doing the best in the game.

2. The other system that we have to choose from is a collecting system where you have collector units who collect the materials and drop them at a drop station (or just magically get them after collecting them, either works I suppose). This System adds more to the game the game then the first one. This would be harder to program, however, it does pose a great opportunity to add more strategy to the game as you have to collect one or multiple resources and you get a civilian side of it all. (Also allows for some pretty cool graphics if you ask me)

3. The map is divided into territories/areas. Ever played Rise of Nations? Yeah, like that. You start off with a certain amount of gold and resources and you get a set number every 'x' period of time. If you control an area you get extra resources every 'x' period of time. To control an area you must have at least one military building and the area must not have any enemy military building in that area. The idea is that you fight your enemy for dominance over area of the maps and ultimately the game. This will lead to interesting tactics, you won't be able to hold all the areas which start as neutral at the beginning of a game on any particular map so you'll have to pick which ones you'll start building on with a view to the future.

So this is the problem. You here are all experienced game designers. Well, with at least some experience. With your professional look, which would you decide is best?

(P.S. Sorry for the long read)
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Posts: 5,143
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #2
1) means that the person who doesn't attack, wins
2 and 3) are better, you have to be expanding to gain resources. However, whoever expands uncontested, wins.

I don't think there's really a problem with "whoever expands uncontested, wins". That's the nature of such games. It's true of any other RTS.

I personally think that if you're "tower defense" and "zone control" you'll be perceived as somewhat unoriginal (the "why isn't this just a WC3 map" crowd). If you have a "proper" resource gathering system you're more likely to be perceived as a legitimate stand-alone game. Maybe that's just me, though.
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Posts: 613
Joined: 2004.09
Post: #3
Personally in your situation I would get the engine up and going first. A chess game is a great start but it is still a long leap to this next step. Once you start getting gameplay up and working then how the game should fit together will fall into place.

All of your methods will work for the game style you are talking about. Once the game starts to come together you will get a feel for what you want to do. Programming in the resource system should be the last thing on your mind right now. You will need to get a basic engine going, load objects and manipulate them, get computer AI working, load and play sounds, ect. There are a lot of basics that should be on your mind before you start to even worry about gameplay yet.

I applaud your first step, and I appreciate the grammar and punctuation in your post. You are on the right path for becoming a game developer, stick with it and take very small steps. Spend time on these boards you will learn more then you can imagine. Stick with it and go slow, don't worry about the manual before you get the game done, so to speak.

Kyle Richter
Twitter: @kylerichter
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Posts: 715
Joined: 2003.04
Post: #4
Combine all systems.
Switch the civilian "collectors" to marauding raiders who pillage villages/strongholds for loot.

I'm doing a bit of an RTS type game myself and I have resource collecting, ie, go somewhere, get something useful. As well as skill/attribute increases per kill, kind of like Dungeons and Dragons style experience points leading to level ups. As well as "attack the tower" type of activity for the enemies.
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Posts: 4
Joined: 2008.08
Post: #5
Thanks all. Your comments are appreciated.

@Cookie: Thanks. You might be right, after all, we are trying to be original. Original is good.

@Kodex: Thanks. I try to make sense with my posts. Also, you're right. We are still just starting, but it helps to prepare.

@iGame3d: Its an idea. But that still favors the player who's in front, and doesn't really give a chance for the lower player.
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