On RTS Games

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Or what if you did a First/Third Person shooter vs. the RTS, with the player playing the RTS taking the role of like say the AI director thing from Left for Dead, and they can lay traps, change the environment, or move units and the like.

I had a similar idea myself and I think it could be really interesting.
For example it could be a survival sim..
You have the players on the ground who are stranded on a desert island or something.
They have to build houses, explore, develop new technologies and survive while the other player in RTS mode is some sort of nature sprits or god who has to try and wipe them out using the animals, weather and environment.

For example...
To survive the cold winter the humans start to farm sheep so they will have wool to make nice jumpers. The nature sprit sends a pack of wolves or a flood to kill off the sheep. This then means the humans will have to either make weapons and go hunting to keep the wolf population down or start building flood barriers .
I know I need to think of a way to keep the nature sprit from getting to op (maybe mana or some recourse they need to collect) but it could work.

So what do you think?


Savage XR is the answer for you. It features one player as a commander who orders around other players who play all (well, most of) the little guys on the ground. So the combat is dependent on both the commander being able to issue strategic commands, and the skill of the players on the ground.

Their official youtube channel is here: http://www.youtube.com/user/HurlyBurly3027

Just mentioned Savage 2 up above, whats the difference between Savage 2 and Savage XR?

I shall be having a look, do people still play it?

You would be suprised just how many people do play it, I know I sure am hehe. Yeah, theres currently quite an active community and it is definatley not hard to get in a match with plenty of servers for newbs and country specific

IIRC, the company that developed Savage 2 went under and stopped supporting the game, XR is the community project to preserve it and they've made some improvements. I never played Savage 2, so I really don't know what the differences are specifically.

Quite an intriguing idea, but I for one care more about the nuclear pogo sticks.

I would suggest that Yahtzee just stay away from any game that isn't FPS, Sandbox or Survival Horror, or maybe Guitar Hero. It's quite obvious he can't enjoy any game that isn't from those genres. And while that's all well and good for a random person. You can't really effectively review a game if you go into it with a poisoned mindset. But then again, people watch ZP for the pointless, lulz-worthy bitching and complaining. So applying that logic here doesn't really work.

Has Yahtzee not heard of Zombie Master? I'm surprised it hasn't been brought up yet. A team of human players play the game as an FPS, and one player, the "Zombie Master" plays it as an RTS, commanding a horde of zombies against them.

I've actually never played it though, so I don't know how good it is.

I think an RTS/FPS where one player controls the others could actually work if some thought was put into it. The standard RTS is actually very unrealistic in how it represents a general's way of commanding his troops. And yet, a real life general is still very much in command, and whole books are written about military strategy. If a more realistic RTS interface could be devised, the idea might work.

Yahtzee's idea reminded me of MAG for the PS3. Doesn't it's combat kind-of work like that? With some players being commanders and others being troops. I never played it so I couldn't be sure.

Didn't Tremulous mix RTS and FPS? I haven't played it but I have heard good things about it.

I've had ideas like that before. I was thinking there would be squads of ground infantry, some specialized air units (some in fighter jets, some in bombers, some in transport helicopters) and then there would be the commander, who can see the entire map and can give orders to the other players. Obviously there would be the problem of people not actually listening to their teammates and just running around killing people, but teams that work together would be more successful. Sometimes that's incentive enough, as left 4 dead has shown me.

We've seen Mr. Croshaw's behavior on RTS games on Halo Wars. Most likely even I consider certain RTS games are a game of chess and checkers.

It is amusing if you take the original 1980's game Donkey Kong and while one player controls Mario, the other 3 controls the barrels to see what happens. Most likely that the player who plays Mario will quit, much to anyone who continues to play a losing game.

I don't think you could ever marry the mentality of your average rts player and and your average fps player. I do think you could merge a turn based strategy game and an fps much more successfully. The turn base commander assigns the missions and the fps guys fight it out on the ground. Imagine mechwarrior 4 mercenaries with strategic commanders offering missions, mercs heiring on to fight it out on the ground.

Natural selection had a commander playing an rts style game with player controlled first person troops, and that was awesome.

Natural Selection is made of win.

I somewhat agree. All the reviews for Starcraft 2 are glowing and say it's perfect, but none have said it will win over people who aren't RTS fans like myself. Plus, I think the ad campaign is wrong. Looking at promos it comes off as an action/shooter title not an RTS. I can imagine young players not familiar with 1 getting it and be seriously dissapointed.

I think the pictures on the back of the box do enough to dispell any notion that it is an action shooter to be honest.

As for the greater idea of an FPS/RTS multiplayer hybrid, the problem is, quite simply, forcing cooperation. It's easy enough to round up a buddy to play a game with. Getting three can be a bit tricky. Getting dozens of like minded people to work together is just shy of impossible.

There are ways to address this issue I suppose. MAG attempted to give light RTS elements to squad commanders and leaders but left the player free to choose to follow a command or not. The methods used in that game were about as good as I've seen. First, the sheer number of people present in the game ensures that successfully attacking or defending any particular objective requires at least a mass of troops if not a coordinated effort. Then, you find that you are only allowed to spawn in certain areas of the map ensuring you are always in relatively close proximity to your team each time you die. Finally, players are given an experience bonus for actions taken in the vicinity of an objective they've been ordered to attack/defend/wash and wax.

The trouble with such a system, surprisngly, is not simply the result of griefers and bad players but rather in the hands of those in command. After a few matches in a given area, players come to expect a certain strategy to be used and a certain level of coordination to be in play. The RTS elements then become less strategic and eventualy even the command elements are basically just playing the exact same game as the rest of the team seeing as a bold new strategy is often met with mutiny. This would be the problem in all such games really. One cannot give too much power to the commanding player(s) for fear of alienating the other players. By the same token, without the ability to impact the battle in a meaningful way, players who may be well suited to the strategy aspect won't care for that portion of the game either.

A good RTS/FPS is the now free Savage 2. It was pretty damn fun, especially LAN parties.

albino boo:
I don't think you could ever marry the mentality of your average rts player and and your average fps player. I do think you could merge a turn based strategy game and an fps much more successfully. The turn base commander assigns the missions and the fps guys fight it out on the ground. Imagine mechwarrior 4 mercenaries with strategic commanders offering missions, mercs heiring on to fight it out on the ground.

This sounds like a weird, multi-player version of Battlechess...

If you want to make the game of thje games which unites all genres you still need to add something simcity-like (the cities could be a "resource" to conquer). This, of course, would only make sense if the game takes place in a perstistent and dynamic world. Best would be a whole planet (or even galaxy/universe). And if you go that far, adding mumorpogerelements could be also conceivable.

I appreciate Yahtzee making a stand on this. I wonder what will come out tomorrow then.

However, for an RTS/FPS Hybrid, I recommend Zombie Master Mod for Half Life 2.

One Guy controls Zombies RTS style, everyone else is a FPS player trying to survive.

I would just like to bring up Eve Online:

Players do, in fact, follow orders and roll around in organized fleets, mostly because if they don't they WILL get blown up (and, in Eve, having your ship blown up is costly).

That might be the key: make losing costly enough that players will have a serious incentive to work together properly.

Actually...there are quite a lot of games that are RTS/Shooters. Have you ever heard of the HL2 mod, Empires? It allows for one commander that researches upgrades, places the buildings, and commands the players to target this enemy, or build this placed building, or capture this point. It's really cool, but if you are an inexperienced commander you usually get yelled at. A lot. :V

Nice to know, I coundn't give a s**t about Starcraft 2 and I am a long time rts fan.

I pretty much have the same opinion on RTSs as Yahtzee. Never been able to get into them. Tried once or twice, but it just seemed... I don't know how to describe it. Dull? Lifeless? It felt like I was playing god, but without all the cool powers god has.

I'm sure RTSs are great, I just suck at them and therefore get no enjoyment. Now, make it turn based and we are talking...

And I feel the same way on this. I love turn base, and I love the Civilization games. Mainly because you can do something else when it's not your turn, and your not rushed to make stupid decisions when not online. Then there's the fact Civ games don't have you as much of a 'focus' I think, but again, I don't know how I would describe what I'm talking about there.


Natural selection had a commander playing an rts style game with player controlled first person troops, and that was awesome.

Natural Selection is made of win.

NS2 is in Alpha right now. It's a full game, not a mod.. built from scratch by a small crew of pretty talented folks. Much like SC2, I can tell you from the Alpha that NS2 is just more of the same great game that the original was.


- Tir

Shame he wont pick it to pieces, but, fair enough he's not going to pick it to pieces for the sake of it.

To each their own

What fun is picking to pieces something you don't understand? Things that he doesn't like about Starcraft might be something that RTS lovers find positive. He makes it pretty clear in this article that he doesn't understand RTS games with the whole mercenary idea and having him criticize a game that's in a style he doesn't enjoy isn't going to be very fun to watch because the comments will be filled to the brim of people pointing out the errors of his criticism.

I'm surprised that someone like you who bashes his viewers/readers because they stick it 'safe' 'with games is not even willing to give rts's a try.

He's probably not going to give it a try because he doesn't like those games to any extent. He kinda has a rule about giving up early when a game doesn't amuse him enough. And the fact that people bitch and whine about him not understanding the parts that make rts's so fun for people who like them. It's actually one of his better decisions.

Your idea about the RTS/FPS reminds me of a demo of a game i got with Age Of Empires: Rise Of Rome. Cant remember the name for the life of me. You were a mothership over the map, and you could spawn different vehicles like helicopters and tanks. You could control them like an RTS, then jump into and control your individual units. It actually was a good idea, but the game was just alright. I never saw anyone else pick this idea up though. The problems with implementing this into a RTS/FPS is the fact people you be way too accurate, taking out heaps of enemy troops with ease, as their shots aren't based on chance and calculations. Still, interesting idea, id like to see it go somewhere.

Also, have you tried DOTA ,Hero Line Wars, or Tower Defence in Warcraft 3? Im not a big fan of RTS games, but I find those games quite fun, especially with friends, but even against AI theyre fun.

Yahtzee Croshaw:

At some point that was tried in the past year or two, it was called "Phoenix Squad" or something, it wasn't exactly your idea, it was a sort of RTS game where you could assume direct FPS control of soldiers at will.

It turned out to be a terrible game, but I'm convinced your idea has big potential if implemented correctly, the problem is finding a studio versed in both RTS and FPS gameplay development.

sorry but that idea is bad because it would mess up all of my plans and pincer movements and how would clocked units fit into all of this. also what is stopping the trolls form destroying new defence less bases and getting killed by the two RTS players teaming up and zerg rushing them to death.

This exact idea has been done, precisely the way you described it (the first idea, not the mercenaries one). It was called Savage: Battle for Newerth, and I personally loved it, and I usually don't like RTS's, so I suppose it did exactly what it was designed to do.

Other opinions may differ, but I still remember Savage as a unique playing experience, several years after playing it. They released a sequel which didn't take my fancy, and I have no idea what's happened to the series now, but I for one hope somebody takes up the idea and runs with it.

The key point is, they mixed genres, and as far as I'm concerned, it totally worked. So, you should consider giving it a go, since it's totally free to download and play now.

EDIT - Here is the link to the game's site. http://www.s2games.com/savage/

It also had a lovely map editor that led to it having thousands of different maps, many of which were spectacularly huge and supported a full 64 players beating the crap out of each other, directed by a single commander and elected officers. Definately one of those gaming moments that stay with you.

Yahtzee has the right to review whatever he wants, and besides if he did review it, we already know what it'd be like.

I saw this coming. And damn, I like his idea of mixing strategy with shooters. But it wouldn't work with RTS and shooters. It could work pretty well with micro management strategies and shooters.

I'm surprised that someone like you who bashes his viewers/readers because they stick it 'safe' 'with games is not even willing to give rts's a try.

He has reviewed several rts. Halo wars comes to mind, but i believe he has done at least one other.
OT: I hate rts for the same reasons yahtzee does. They are unemersive to me, and u don't really need much strategy to beat them. U can almost always win by just building enough tanks to embarrass general paton and steamrolling from one side of the map to the other.

Yahtzee Croshaw:

No, Yahtzee will not be reviewing StarCraft 2.


Not that I wouldn't enjoy it, but please...some of us still play other games.

One thing though Yahtzee...Hiring Mercenaries to fight on either side of wars...isn't that what most MMOs do between their NPCs?

I also won't be playing SC2, unless someone ends up buying it for me or donating it, neither of which I see happening. It just comes down to different strokes for different folks. I used to be into the C&C games, but after a while I just got too frustrated and would cheat to win.

The game Savage and Savage 2 had players on the field controlled by a player doing things RTS style.

So, Yahtzee.. what if there was a game that blended the RTS experience (including a tech tree, resource gathering, different unit classes) with the FPS experience.. and did it well?

Now what if in addition to that, this game had two asymmetric sides, with one side (the marines) playing as the standard FPS, machine guns, shotguns, grenades, etc. while the other side (the aliens) were primarily melee based, but had different movement modes such as climbing on walls, flying, or teleporting in order to get close enough before they get mowed down by the guns.

Not only that, but that game was balanced on a knife's edge where skill-differences make a significant difference, so much so that it's still being played nearly 8 years after its release.

Now, what if I told you that on top of all of that, this title was made by an indie group who is going pro, and they've just gone into Alpha on their next iteration of that game, that the game is almost entirely done in a scripting language on top of their engine, and that they'll be releasing the game code and their toolset along with the purchase of the new game?

You'd probably say I was full of shit, that such a thing does not exist in this world, nay, could not exist.

And yet.. http://www.naturalselection2.com/


Ah well, wasn't like I was gonna do anything with it.

Soooo I'm guessing fun space game won't have RTS aspects.

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