On RTS Games

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No one has mentioned BF2? Really? Common. Battlefield 2 had exactly everything he mentioned. If you want to mess as infantry, you could do that. If you wanted to blow stuff up in a tank, that too, or fly both combat missions AND/OR bombing missions. Even attack and transport helos were available. And on top of that it had not one but two levels of chain of command. The squad leader which could set small objectives and make requests from the COMMANDER who could order around all the squads and drop support assets like artillery, supplies and vehicles. It's that last part that tended to make human players listen to the commander. Often times when (as a Squad leader) when I would make a request for supplies, before it would be filled the commander would set a new objective point (take or go here) which was a subtle "You want that crate? I need you here." And it worked 90% of the time. And when I played commander I got similar results. Usually people followed my orders. That and I usually dropped the UAV's on where I wanted them to go so if they WANTED a UAV, they needed to follow orders.

So in that regard the RTS element was still present even with human "FPS" players.

The Amazing Tea Alligator:
Still think he should do Men of War.

I second this. That game caught my attention, and I don't really touch RTS games either. Part of the blame is probably getting my ass handed in them by my older brother when I was 8 or so.

RC1138:
No one has mentioned BF2? Really? Common. Battlefield 2 had exactly everything he mentioned. If you want to mess as infantry, you could do that. If you wanted to blow stuff up in a tank, that too, or fly both combat missions AND/OR bombing missions. Even attack and transport helos were available. And on top of that it had not one but two levels of chain of command. The squad leader which could set small objectives and make requests from the COMMANDER who could order around all the squads and drop support assets like artillery, supplies and vehicles. It's that last part that tended to make human players listen to the commander. Often times when (as a Squad leader) when I would make a request for supplies, before it would be filled the commander would set a new objective point (take or go here) which was a subtle "You want that crate? I need you here." And it worked 90% of the time. And when I played commander I got similar results. Usually people followed my orders. That and I usually dropped the UAV's on where I wanted them to go so if they WANTED a UAV, they needed to follow orders.

So in that regard the RTS element was still present even with human "FPS" players.

Yes, YES! I was awfully disappointed by Bad Company 2, because I expected it to be Battlefield 3. Only a small part of the team work the Battlefield series have had is present in BC2.

Well I didnt mention BC2 for that reason. I don't consider it part of the Battlefield Series.

That said, it stands to reason BF3 will have the RTS elements in BF2 and BF2142 (and modded 1942 as well). I'm guessing that BC games are the plot games while the regular Battlefield games have the more "sandbox" feel of "Here's a battlefield, some vehicles and guns, go kill stuff and hold points."

I think BC's and BC2's biggest letdown, for me, was the lack of real LARGE team coordination that BF2 and 2142 had (that and lacking large numbers of vehicles, 5 tanks per map only? WTH!). And you need the commander chair for that to work.

Woah so why did it take him 2 pages to simply say personally isn't attracted to RTS games?
I mean that's no shame really.

I'm personally not really interested in RPGs or worse an RPG shooter (*caught* Mass Effect *caught*).

And I'm kinda glad he doesn't review SC2. I think his opinion sucks mostly(yes his opinion, which he can voice freely). And he doesn't stop contradicting himself and writes too many pointless articles just like this.
However his reviews sometimes are funny, at least if I don't like the game or dunno much about it. Because once you do you actually realize stupid his reviews are ;p

Mixing genres is HARd from a design perspective seriously hard i map for eternal silence which has FPS and flight sim star-wars battlefront style but the transitions are better and the flight is more like free-space

anyway mixing the two is hard and its where star wars battlefront tripped up a bit making everyone's contribution worth the same is much harder than it sounds

As fro FPS/RTS that does exist its called empires mod and it is good but there are two issues one is disobedient soldiers but this isn't too much of a problem as its no more crippling than having a total noob in your team on say TF2 you can work past it if it's just say 2 or 3 guys
The bigger problem that isn't really easy to solve is having an idiot in command you are basicly screwed you can eject your commander with a vote and have someone els take the helm but sometimes the damage is done
Also the problem of balancing everyone's contribution comes up how do you balance a tank and a man? its really hard to do.

Those are just two examples of mixing genres imagine adding more

There is another approach though another HL2 mod that i cant remember right now i dont think it ever got released but you didn't have to coexist you fought each other.

one team was just a single guy controlling an army of AI combines building turrets ect ect
the other team where rebels they could get Jeeps and air-boats and various weapons from crates but they basicly had to fight the hordes sounded like an awesome and not so hard to balance concept.

I have to say, the idea of a freelance mercenary faction really has me interested... that's one way I could get in all the computer gaming action my friends have been geeking out over lol

Awwww, he could just play it anyways. That's what I did for WC3 and I ended up loving it even though I was god awful at it.

Natural Selection, commander is playing a basic RTS essentially while everyone else is in first person and it was brilliant, i never took up the reigns of commander seriously but i know many who did.

If a half life mod is too old for people now then the sequel is currently in alpha, very buggy at the moment but hey it's an indie game in alpha, looks promising.

I would totally beta test the proposed 3rd-person shooter/RTS hybrid that Yatzee posts here. It sounds like a neat concept and in the right hands it could be a ton of fun for all involved, especially if as a side effect the RTS player can watch his enemy's base burn from the perspective of his/her units.

In the end though it'd probably fail to garner the full attention of either audience.

As long as yahtzee stayed away from the extremely competitive multiplayer (which he always does anyways) I believe he could give a review of the single player; it is vastly different from multiplayer, with a lot of story and rpg elements. But hey, way to not take ANY risks Yahtzee, it's not like you might not enjoy this or anything (or hate it, but what do you have to lose? You review JRPG's even though you say you hate them.)

RTS and play, like I said, is not new or old. There are MANY games that have both. BF2 like I said did it as did 2142. Battalion Wars and it's sequels did it. That KF mod has it. And in a manner of speaking the Rainbow 6 games (not counting Vegas) were very RTS as you could order around your teams to locations, blow up doors, rescue hostages and the like.

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

Yes it was. I played that game way more than TF back in the day.

we don't give two shits what u think Yahtzee review it anyway.

"I think what it's that I've never liked games where the main character is just some kind of amorphous, otherworldly entity pulling the strings from on high."

For the record, the Age of Mythology campaign put you in the role of a group of heroes. The control scheme was the same as any other RTS, but there were actual, clearly defined main characters like in a RPG. For that matter, a couple scenarios from the Age of Empires series were the same, and Warcraft 3 did that, too.

"Has any major battle in history been decided by an illegal street race"

Chh the battle for my loved ones heart!

Honestly I'm a little surprised. I thought Yahtzee would review Starcraft 2 as part of his "broadening my horizons" plan, but I can't disagree with his decision. I personally don't give a shit about RTS's or Starcraft 2 so I'm not heartbroken over this but honestly what criticism could Yahtzee give to SC2. It has a hugely devoted fanbase and they know they like it. He can't change an opinion on the game. Not only that but he isn't exactly in a position to criticize the game on its merits not being familiar with the RTS genre.

The same thing he said about The World Ends with You applies here. He doesn't know about RTS the same way he doesn't really know JRPG so why bother.

The same applies to me and racing games and sports games like Madden. I don't like them. Never have. Never will. Any criticism I have on the genre regarding gameplay is really void because I'm coming from a different world.

Agent_PoRK:
we don't give two shits what u think Yahtzee review it anyway.

Wow. That's so contradictory I can't tell if it was intentional.

I'll also chime in with a "Natural Selection was awesome" comment.

Yahtzee, your game has already been made. Twice. There aren't mercenaries but the action players can still muck around doing what they want. In short you really should check out (or even just check a youtube video of) Battlestations Midway and Pacific to see that RTS and 3rd person action can coexist, at the same time, and extremely well, too. It's actually kind of embarrassing seeing you go on about this idea of yours when even I knew it's been out for years...

Personally I cannot stand RTSes either, to me they'd be more interesting if the computer did everything for both sides and the whole affair was turned into an entertaining screensaver. That said, I did actually get pulled into Company of Heroes. A well told story tied to gameplay so extensively play tested and refined that I just couldn't find anything wrong with it.

Bless you Yahtzee, I am like you, can't really give a damn about SCII though some RTS like Rome: Total War are totally my cup of tea.

Also, the concept you proposed has me excited, it's a shame it's not reality or under the attention of a big publisher, you should really push this concept through. I'd gladly pay the full buck for a game like this one!

As always, an excellent and very entertaining read!

I was thinking having a RTS, but have player characters play the "Heroes" in Starcraft 2 missions there were times when the hero was controlling themselves, or rather the AI was. What would be wrong with say: Letting a player character play that hero, while the commander creates all the support grunts. Having a hero would certainly strengthen your army, but the hero can't do much alone unless he has the support grunts.

I would play this war omnigame. I think the idea of a third person sandbox shooter in someones RTS game would be an interesting innovation to the genre. Racers could play logistics, supply lines and transports.

What youve described is majesty(btoh 1 and 2),except that there you have ai mercenaries fighting monsters.So I guess you could make that into a multiplayer game.It would be a fun experiment.

Or,you could make one player control the bots,and the rest fighting them in order to get to something.

So, nobody that I saw has mentioned the excellent Microsoft game Allegiance, which follows the Savage and Natural Selection mode of 'One guy is the commander, everyone else are troops.' It's more like if you mixed Savage with EVE, with less MMO Grindy BS.

Empirically, in Savage and Savage 2, cooperation and tactics worked. Your commander generally kept you abreast of which tech he was going for. He could mark certain people as leaders, and they would have a flag, so the grunts might follow the right person. Griefing wasn't a huge problem, and it seems to happen as a commander-grief as anything else.

Another problem with this genre I haven't seen mentioned is that most everyone wants to be the commander. The worst parts of Savage and Allegiance were the between round spat of 'Do we kick out the commander who's doing pretty well to give someone else a go, or do we let someone else take the helm.' Allegiance at least let you switch commanders in the middle of the game, and both let you vote to kick commanders (iirc, it's been a while for both games).

Edit: Also, I would like to voice here: I love RTS games, and I hate FPS. I get lost easily, and after a short period of time it doesn't seem like I'm making any difference. I enjoy almost any other genre of games, but I'm pretty sad that PC Gaming = FPS most of the time.

As a few others have said, Savage and Savage 2 did the RTS guy controlling the big picture, and other players being the major part of the soldiers very, very well. I never did do the RTS part very well, but it was very fun being some other guy's soldier.

Also, Battlefield 2 did the FPS with a commander player extremely well. And as a great incentive to do well as the commander, the commander player cannot acquire points on his own, while he is the commander, but rather gets the mean[1] amount of points for all the other guys on his team, meaning that if he helps his team do well, he does well. Also the whole team can vote to replace the commander if they are not satisfied.
I have personally had some great moments with some commanders who decided I was their pet project since I often went on my own to capture objectives, spotting guys for me and giving me supplies while still supporting the rest of the team.
It brings a whole new level to a multiplayer RTS having a guy whose only job is to look out for you. Commanders must be the thing I miss most in Bad Company 2.
Also, the non-commander players could hinder or help the commanders by blowing up the enemy commander's toys (making him unable to call down bombings or UAVs), or repairing their own commander's toys.

Edit: Oh great! My post took so long to write that I got ninjaed.

RC1138:
-snip-

I was also really baffled that nobody mentioned Battlefield 2. When I read the article I immediately thought "Does he not know of Battlefield 2 and Savage?". Lots of people mentioned Savage, but no love for BF2, so weird.

[1] I think? The score of all the players on his team, divided by the number of players

Yahtzee Croshaw:

No, Yahtzee will not be reviewing StarCraft 2.

We don't need you to review games at all if you ever start making these awesome big budget titles you have ideas for. I like this one even more than that one you came up with in the Saints Row 2 review.

Your rts idea is what they should do with Dawn of War 3 when that eventually gets made.

Hah. We share opinions on the Warcraft story.

And as for the combination of FPS and RTS - one game did actually do its best to try and pull it off. Battlezone 1 and Battlezone 2, the latter developed by the now deceased Pandemic, both published by Activision. They had an okay story...though the voiceover of the person you played was class-A cheese, but then again...I kinda liked it as that. :p

It had loads of awesome unit voiceovers...simply awesome terrain for its time. Problem was that it was very hard to implement any forms of advanced tactics because you were still playing a 1st-person space planet battle while dealing with RTS mechanics such as resource scavenging, base building and unit production. It was cool that, if you died, you had to eject and then either call another unit to come pick you up or just walk all the way back to base but...well bottom line is I had a lot of fun with it.

But yep, twas not exactly a cohesive franchise. Still, twas the closest I ever got to a mix of FPS and RTS I think.

Natural Selection.

Shame. I would have liked to see your view on this ridiculously hyped game. But whatever. Here's to the next one. Hopefully Limbo

to be fair, SCII is about as polished and noob friendly as an RTS is going to get, so if you want to start somewhere then you should start there

I loved the game, but i get what you are saying, its shortcomings are not from game design, story or whatever, i think it is just the RTS cliche's that exist in the genre, boring base building, unit massing

even then, about 90% of the missions have some form of urgency about them, pushing through to a location before your enemy does, so its never a case of turtle up, max out 200/200 supply and steamroll the whole map

if you play it on hard difficulty, the levels and objectives are cleverly designed so that turtling and steamrolling is not an option

additionally, i bought savage 2, i have never played such a badly designed, barren playerbase, awfully optimized inaccessable game

the creators of that game need to be hung for stealing my money

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

I agree.

s69-5:
Interesting read. I can see how the concept of mixing several genres into one mega-game might be as appealing as it might be disastrous.

You've already addressed the initial problems I immediately thought of so instead:

Adding Racers to the game: Make them war time delivery boys or something. They need to deliver X component/ officer/ etc in a certain amount of time. Maybe while being chased in a NFS: Hot Pursuit style. Oh and add weapons (like Wipeout or even Mario Kart).

EDIT: Also, if you don't review RTS because you admittedly aren't well-versed in them, why do you review JRPGs?

He says, it's not just that he sucks at them, but because "it's not [his] cup of tea." I'm pretty good at RTS', but the last one I played was Age of Empires II: The Age of Conquerors. And even that was a while ago.

Arcthelad:
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 given RTS's a try, he just doesn't want to play Starcraft :3

I plainly don't enjoy RTS games. They are frustrating exercises in compulsive micromanagement. The bulk of the "action" consists of camera placement, resource gathering, and troop deployment - all at the same time, all under a stopwatch. I can't help but feel that I should be paid for subjecting myself to that kind of stress. Manipulating troops in battle, the actual "fun" bit, is a relatively minor portion of the game. How is that something people want to play?

Personally, I think Blizzard's insanely high production values rope people into what is otherwise a rightfully niche genre. How many folks would honestly enjoy this game without the story and cinematics backing it up? Is SC2 single-player remotely engaging without the admittedly pretty act breaks?

Multiplayer is obviously a huge draw, but that trades more on the competitive instincts of human beings than the actual objective entertainment value of an experience; people fucking eat competitively, and that shit doesn't looking very fun at all. SC2 is the latest "agreed upon battlefield". This is where the latest and greatest competitions will be held, so you know you'll be there almost in spite of the genre if that's your psychological makeup.

Arcthelad:
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.

What's the correct term for this? Faux logic? Backwards logic? You're essentially saying Yahtzee, as someone who places a premium on originality, should be more open to the original experience of playing a game that is clearly not very original. "If you like freedom so much, you should respect other people's freedom to limit your freedom", right? You've basically warped functional language to your purpose. Congratulations on the destruction of effective human communication.

Yahtzee Croshaw:

Read Full Article

I'm not sure an omnigenre game would work, it'd be very hard to come up with something that's challenging to all genres without being impossible for some approaches. I'm not really sure about the chess comparison either, I see what you mean but a lot of the experience of Bioshock comes from your mission to defeat Andrew Ryan so in effect you're just playing to win in virtually all games. Having said that I'm glad you're not going to review the game; if you don't get what makes an RTS a good example of an RTS game reviewing it would be a Brawl-esque barrage of hate mail with a game as popular as SC2.

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