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Help making a RTS
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Gecko4lif
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Help making a RTS

What gives a rts game a high skill ceiling?

Because im trying to design a game that has a relatively low skill floor so even casual people can enjoy it but one with a skill ceiling high enough that the most hardcore people can really flourish

Old Post Sep 30th, 2011 06:25 PM
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Digi
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I would think it would be all about controlling variables.

I'm not a designer, so take this with a heavy grain of salt, but here's my take.

Variables:
- how many offensive and defensive units do you start with? how many does the enemy have?
- how many different unit types are there?
- can you create/train more? of so, how long does this take, and how many resources?
- damage capabilities of the varying units (how much do they hit for, and how often)
- speed of each unit.
- hit points, mana points, etc. based on whatever your system is.

...then a lot of created a nuanced and balanced game is just tweaking those. I won't pretend to know a formula, but 90% of RTS's are just combinations of those things.

Ideas to Make it more "Skill" Oriented:
- Create specific strengths and weaknesses of some units vs. others. Simple "this type hits for X but X-5 on this other unit type" can make it strategic in matching your opponent's force correctly.

- Create different modes of attack (I'm thinking land, air, sea for a specific example) to provide different avenues of attack, and different ways of building strength and exploiting weaknesses in the opponent.

- Allow fortifications to be built possibly, so that you can defend positions, bases, resources, or just provide an attack advantage.

- Stealth Mechanics or Fog of War mechanics

- Allow formations, which each impart certain strengths and weaknesses, depending on what situation they are used in.

Ideas for Balancing:
If you're looking to minimize variables that are potentially exploitable, I'd start with a set number of units and not allow the creation of more, making it more tactical than resource-based.

Or, if you want to give more choice, give them, say, 100 Gold (or whatever). Then they "buy" their army for the battle. They have choice that way and can approach the battle differently, but it still gives you the opportunity to have an essentially balanced starting force.


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Last edited by Digi on Sep 30th, 2011 at 08:28 PM

Old Post Sep 30th, 2011 08:26 PM
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Gecko4lif
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Digi
I would think it would be all about controlling variables.

I'm not a designer, so take this with a heavy grain of salt, but here's my take.

Variables:
- how many offensive and defensive units do you start with? how many does the enemy have?
- how many different unit types are there?
- can you create/train more? of so, how long does this take, and how many resources?
- damage capabilities of the varying units (how much do they hit for, and how often)
- speed of each unit.
- hit points, mana points, etc. based on whatever your system is.

...then a lot of created a nuanced and balanced game is just tweaking those. I won't pretend to know a formula, but 90% of RTS's are just combinations of those things.

Ideas to Make it more "Skill" Oriented:
- Create specific strengths and weaknesses of some units vs. others. Simple "this type hits for X but X-5 on this other unit type" can make it strategic in matching your opponent's force correctly.

- Create different modes of attack (I'm thinking land, air, sea for a specific example) to provide different avenues of attack, and different ways of building strength and exploiting weaknesses in the opponent.

- Allow fortifications to be built possibly, so that you can defend positions, bases, resources, or just provide an attack advantage.

- Stealth Mechanics or Fog of War mechanics

- Allow formations, which each impart certain strengths and weaknesses, depending on what situation they are used in.

Ideas for Balancing:
If you're looking to minimize variables that are potentially exploitable, I'd start with a set number of units and not allow the creation of more, making it more tactical than resource-based.

Or, if you want to give more choice, give them, say, 100 Gold (or whatever). Then they "buy" their army for the battle. They have choice that way and can approach the battle differently, but it still gives you the opportunity to have an essentially balanced starting force.


Well Ive make 6 races all with different pros and cons such as resource collection rate training speed, cost of upgrades etc

But one of the things I was really thinking about was skilled unit pathing which would have 3 levels of precision

First being the obvious click from point a to b

Second be Shift+click which would be setting a series of waypoints to ensure they pick a path you want

The 3rd would be click and drag which make a line drag and you units would follow the exact path you map out which would enable the most accurate unit positioning possible

Another thing I was thinking about is unit groups

because you make each unit individually but you could have the option to combine say 5 units into a squad with would in effect become a "new unit" but would still have the same cumulative stats it would just be less to keep track up but at the same time you would be sacrificing positioning

Last edited by Gecko4lif on Sep 30th, 2011 at 08:57 PM

Old Post Sep 30th, 2011 08:54 PM
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Digi
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I'd say make it fun first, go for balance later. You can always change the code. Make sure it's got a purpose to it ("Why am I playing this? What is my character or role, and his/her motivation?") or it won't matter how balanced and deep it is. Also smoothness of the controls and interface.

I can't really comment on your ideas there. I don't have the requisite design experience to say whether or not I think they're a good idea. I basically blew my entire wad in that first post, and can just wish you luck at this point.


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Old Post Oct 6th, 2011 01:25 AM
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