Ok. Back in February I posted a poll asking for favorite genres and the resounding winner was RPG (though many clarified their vote in a follow up reply as RTS). To that end I want to start picking the brains of all you fine folks for the key features needed in creating an RTS game builder. Plus we need a distraction from the Google Rankings post. ah-hem This is such a stable genre that the list should be quick and easy to generate. The design needs to be generic enough to quickly create a basic game but also offer extensability to those who want to customize. To get the brain juices flowing I'll kick the list off with…
- Unit Attributes
- Unit Control
- Unit AI
- Battle System
- Resource System
- Economy System
- Best practice gameplay dynamics should also be discussed
I haven't played RTS in a long time so I'm counting on you to fill the void in my research.
I think a nice start would be a common format for units.
That would consit of an extendible file format, that defines stats, weapons, animations etc. and a jME class that allows you to acces these features easily. That would mean you have a "dumb" class that you can tell to move, aim, fire, etc.
@llama: do you mean something like a RTSUnit class (or RTSAgent or RTSEntity) ?
@digitalburn: what do you mean by Queueing?
Tell Unit A to build a barracks, then repair a vehicle, and finally gaurd the gate.
Unit A performs each task as the previous one is completed. This keeps the player from having to micromanage every detail of every unit. Plus units that just stand around after completing work isn't very convincing.
Now I admitted earlier that I haven't played RTS in a while but if our system allowed an influence where as the unit completes a task it instantly goes to help the closest uncompleted task or defend if under attack.
chain of command/command heirarchy - unit A can command or pass on user commands to UUnits B, & C, which can pass on comands or command other units
I can see nothing really RTS specific in this (except resource system maybe), all the features also apply to eg. RPG to some extent , so i'd suggest making it a general high level game framework/api/utility collection, which in Your case is used in an RTS Builder.
indeed there are some similarites between RTS and some types of RPG (where you command a group of characters). both of these game types involve controlling one or more units, which can gain experience, attack, perform specific actions and have a health level. but that's all these 2 genres have in common so there wouldn't be that much to put in that common framework as it would be just too abstract/general to be of real use.
but i think a RTS system could be adapted to create some RPG (or "strategy-RPG" game like Warcraft 3 claimed to be), but (imho) there are definetly to many distinctions between the 2 genres.
…but i have to admit that i didn't recently play any RTS games so i might be wrong (i'm rather a RPG playing person) so please correct me if i'm wrong.
you might want to include a configurable & strong ai system. rts games usually need a much better enemy ai than rpg games. the enemy in rts games has to get the big picture while in rpg games it's just enough if unit ai isn't to bad.
So the RPG AI quality is equal to the typical upper level manager?
ever got the feeling you are not reading a developers board but bash.org?
Does AI in the context of "upper management" not mean Accumulated Incompetence, rather than Artificial Intelligence?
 …ok, I have to admit, this one was nasty… :evil:
Something on topic to make up for it:
The most interesting/important part for RTS but also for turn based tactics (like "Jagged Alliance") and RPG, would be an RTS Controller allowing RTS style camera controls.
@sfera: no reason to correct You, as You correctly statet:
Can I put in a vote for supporting at least strategy RPGs as an option? IMHO there is a lot in common between SRPGs and RTS games, path finding, AI, command interface, etc. I'm pretty sure Command & Conquer used a grid based system, and that would have very very similar code to a grid based SRPG. The AI in an SRPG definitely isn't inferior to an RTS - seems like many RTS games just know what to build, then fling all the tanks at you, whereas SRPG AI needs to understand special moves, move order, interactions between units etc. These things are sometimes present in RTS games, but often they are not nearly as complex.
Plus, I really like SRPGs!
i think the most taks you refer to are mostly unit ai. in an rts game you would have another layer on top of that, so most things would be reusable, i guess. but you are right, sometimes it's hard to draw the line between the genres.
what exactly do you mean by "strategy RPG"? games like warcraft 3(sorry if the title is a bit old, but i'm not really up to date with RTS games)? because if that's what you mean, the RPG factor in such a game is so minimal that (imho) it can barely considered RPG.
Pavel Jackoff said:
... but come on, turn-based beats realtime all the time. :)
i suppose that's a matter of taste ;)
think of something like jagged alliance, hero/space quest or an old commandos + character development. at least i thought that's what he meant. most of them seem to be lacking the realtime part, though… but come on, turn-based beats realtime all the time.
I assume he referred to games like "Final Fantasy Tactics". At least that's what I got to know as StrategyRPG.