View Full Version : The RTS/Tech Tree relationship
29th Apr 05, 11:25 AM
Traditional game design theory states that people find choices to be fun. Sales statistics indicate that an effective method of presenting choices to the consumer is through a tech tree. I cannot think of a single top selling RTS title that didn't use some form of a tech tree. If CoH doesn't use a tech tree as many (myself including) are expecting, what are some ways that it might provide choices to make multi-player games varied and less repetitive?
For example, do you think they might use a Warhammer like system where you have "points" to build an army before you go into battle? This would mean much of the "strategy" would be decided before the battle and the game engine would focus on providing tactical decisions.
29th Apr 05, 1:11 PM
A point allocation coupled with a Force Organization requirement might work (Force organization basically means you can't focus on one thing explicitly).
Another way it could be handled is you set up the strategic theatre how you want (with a balance requirement), and play the game to objectives set by strategic necessities. For example, a game could be set like this:
Air superiority: Contested
Defender Positions: Heavily Fortified
Defender Support: Nearby companies, Artillery [heavy]
Defender Supplies: Limited Armor, Limited Munitions
Defender Forces: Recruit
Attack type: Full Line Assault
Attacker Support: Nearby companies, Artillery [Light], Espionage, Sabotage
Attacker Supplies: Limited Fuel, Limited Spares, Abundant Armor
Attacker Forces: Veteran
Attacker Objectives: Take Location, Destroy Support structures.
Obviously, I just made up all that on the fly, but a system like that would be awesome.
1st May 05, 8:02 PM
To the two points made above.
Ever play any of the Combat Mission games? Youve pretty much described the system that they used to make fun, challenging WW2 Strategy games before it became the trendy thing to do.
In anycase if you have a measure of patience, and are even slightly interested in a deep historical strategy game you should check them out.
PS. Christ Relic has pulled me back to these boards again. *shakes fist at relic-awesomeness*
7th May 05, 4:13 AM
Yeah, that sounds a lot like Combat Mission.
The problem is that for it to work, strategy and tactics have to play a far greater role than they generally do in current RTSes. Slower paced, too. If you tried the same thing in DoW, you'd quickly end up with people rushing one area with all their forces and having big mindless brawls that would get boring because there'd be little skill beyond frenetic micro involved. If CoH is somewhat paced, and more realistic, than you might be able to pull off interesting multiplayer without the traditional tech/production model of modern RTSes.
need something unique...tech trees can get boring real fast, and can become otherwise useless once a players advances their knowledge of the game.
something that would be fun ->
straight out combat with starting units, and as time or a combat rating continue to escalate, you gain access to more powerful/support units to use as you will.
7th May 05, 2:51 PM
the neat thing with combat mission's multi is that (like in ww2) there is no uber unit. All units have their strengths and weaknesses. If someone wanted an entire force of Tiger 2's they could afford only a couple (through the pregame points/buying system) and they would be overwhelmed by a well balanced combined arms team.
Ability to win comes down to the right mix of forces chosen before the game and the right application of that force on the battlefield.
Of course Relic is not going to make a turnbased wargame, but hopefully they can innovate some real tactics into the RTS (Real time tactical?) genre while attaining accessibility then i will be duly impressed.
7th May 05, 7:54 PM
Close Combat! Microsoft RTS in 1996. Top down perspective, no resources or anything. You just got a set number and type of units for the campaign and went from there. Everything was line of sight based, and soldiers had morale and unit cohesion. They would run from cover to cover, and if you ordered them to do something stupid they might not do it. I haven't played it in YEARS, but that might be something to look at to see how it's been done previously in real time.
7th May 05, 9:16 PM
Yeah i used to be big into the close combat series. Definatly a great thinking-mans rts. It would be cool to see something like that with todays bells and whistles.
7th May 05, 10:41 PM
How about your starting units are map dependent, but you have a selection of reserve units you can call in now and then when you accomplish objectives?
13th May 05, 5:38 PM
The resource system will be tied to the game's pacing, which will start off in reconnaissance fashion, followed by skirmishes, and then all-out war. Wilson explains that like many of the battles in World War II, engagements will start with good scouting, and they may even end with it if a savvy player can quickly identify an enemy's key weaknesses and launch a surgical strike. However, many of the game's battles will escalate over time from small infantry skirmishes to vehicle engagements to combined-arms assaults with bombing runs, artillery fire, and heavy tanks making appearances as players commission reinforcements over time.
Sounds as if there might not be a tech tree per-se, but instead players will start with a small "recon" force and as they capture points (or possibly areas) on the map, they will be able to "requisition" reinforcements for a price. Sounds like a very reasonable method of handling things.
13th May 05, 10:21 PM
Units that are map dependent?...hmm...if I'm not mistaken..I think Stormregion/CDV already did with Codename: Panzers and Sierra/Massive Entertainment also did it with Ground Control 2...good idea..but it needs something else that would make it unique.
Capture the flag - Maybe..it would be nice for Dawn of War though..but that's a different story..
Map Dependent Units - Maybe
Capturing Strategic Points - Maybe
Gathering Natural Resources - plz..no
Capturing Landing Zones - Maybe
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