The RTS Development Thread

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The RTS Development Thread

Postby Olothontor » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:22 pm

I know I introduced Construct in one of the PD threads, and some of you headed straight for it and picked it up to play around with it.

If you kind gentlemen and ladies will indulge me, I think I have an interesting idea.

What if we take the concept of BrikSpace and Microspace and all of that and make it into an actual game? Using Construct, this can't be too hard; the most difficult thing about it would be the AI code, which would need to be hard-coded into the game for the most part. Otherwise it's simply sprites (which I am of course happily providing, I've already started working on some things) and some semi-dedicated work on the game itself. Add a storyline and a campaign mode, and BANG. You've got something worthy of the Free Indie Game market.

I'm thinking mostly along the lines of a crossroad between Eve:Online and the Age of Empires series; either an RTS or a TBS conducted in space, using credits, energy, and workforce as your main "resources", and using varying sizes of space stations as your HQs. From there it's all about the unit types.

Let me know what you guys think, and shoot ideas at me. I don't want to get started STRAIGHT away, I want to let the project simmer in its mental juices a bit and solidify more fully before jumping into the details. Any help is appreciated, particularly with the Construct aspect of things; I myself am not that much of a programmer, and can only carry out the simplest of tasks in Construct. I'll also be using this thread as a concept artwork dump (feel free to contribute conceptual ship sketches and things (yes, I am looking at you, BFenix)), so keep an eye out for those juicy posts.

Peace out,
    Olly
Last edited by Olothontor on Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby thade » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:32 pm

How is it that you keep making me smirk my evil smirk? :lol:

Anyway, I'm not particularly good at Python (I think that's what construct uses, right?), but I'm better than average with GML, and I'd be happy to give it a try. I'll go download it.
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Postby Olothontor » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:35 pm

Please do let me know how that goes, I'd love to have your thought processes on my side on this one.

Speaking of concept art...

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Postby thade » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:37 pm

Okay, downloaded, and running setup.

Ossum sprites, however:
Are those sideview, or top down? it's kinda hard to tell without refrence.
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Re: So, Let's Talk Construct

Postby stubby » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:46 pm

Olothontor wrote:I'm thinking mostly along the lines of a crossroad between Eve:Online and the Age of Empires series; either an RTS or a TBS conducted in space, using credits, energy, and workforce as your main "resources", and using varying sizes of space stations as your HQs. From there it's all about the unit types.

Is there anything to make this game unique? Not that it isn't a good exercise to make indie versions of gameplay that's been proven in the commercial market, but it'd be nice if it had a special hook of some kind.
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Postby Olothontor » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:46 pm

Those are sideview, but they would be both smaller and top-down for the game itself. The larger sideview sprites such as those would be used in menus for outfitting your larger ships with extraneous gadgets and doodads.

I'll try to draw up a crappy mockup of what I imagine the game functioning like in my head sometime soon.

The actual ship customization system would of course come much later in game development, but that doesn't mean I can't throw out the idea early on, 'specially if it involves me spriting more.

Stubby: Anything in mind? I'm dry, beyond ship customization, which isn't that good of a "hook," if you consider it.
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Re: So, Let's Talk Construct

Postby thade » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:52 pm

stubby wrote:Is there anything to make this game unique? Not that it isn't a good exercise to make indie versions of gameplay that's been proven in the commercial market, but it'd be nice if it had a special hook of some kind.


Good point, we'll have to think about that.

Olothontor wrote:Those are sideview, but they would be both smaller and top-down for the game itself. The larger sideview sprites such as those would be used in menus for outfitting your larger ships with extraneous gadgets and doodads.

The actual ship customization system would of course come much later in game development, but that doesn't mean I can't throw out the idea early on, 'specially if it involves me spriting more.

Stubby: Anything in mind? I'm dry, beyond ship customization, which isn't that good of a "hook," if you consider it.


Shiny.
I forgot to mention it, but I do have experience coding top down ship ai's, but they were in GML, and not very complex.
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Postby Olothontor » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:58 pm

Good to know.

I'll start wracking my brain for some more interesting hooks; so far, the plot and ship customization are all I've got.
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Re: So, Let's Talk Construct

Postby Ross_Varn » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:05 pm

stubby wrote:Is there anything to make this game unique?


Oy, that's my job! Give me a bit to stew on it. :wink:
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Postby thade » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:08 pm

It looks promising, I'll take a better look later, I'm on my phone right now. I'll start brainstorming as well.

Edit: Ross Varn has joined the party!
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Postby Olothontor » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:32 pm

Image
Image
Image
Image

As long as I said I was going to post concept art, may as well throw out some older images as well.

The spriting styles, they're all so drastically different... how do I DO that? Christ, that's just ridiculous.

Anyway, obviously they'd all be re-tooled so that everything would have the same basic contrast and shading style, they're still simply conceptual and nothing is set in stone yet.

P.S. Very minor update, as long as I'm hanging around here and avoiding that 6-page civics paper.

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Postby thade » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:54 pm

Olothontor wrote:that 6-page civics paper.


:man:

Olothontor wrote:*Insert ossum sprites here*


:ftw:
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Postby Olothontor » Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:11 am

Don't mind if I just brainbump here for a few minutes, do y'all?

So, ship customization (I shouldn't be focusing on this so much, but whatever. 6-page paper keeps leering over my shoulder anyway). My thoughts are as follows:

A certain list of preset modular items will exist, hopefully equippable on most, if not all, ships, and will apply some bonus to their combat ability. Ships themselves will of course need to have stats, which will go something similar to what follows:

    -=- Speed: How quickly the ship moves per frame (or some other unit of in-game measurement).
    -=- Firepower: (possibly an average of the firepowers of each individual weapon on the ship)?
    -=- Outer (Hull) Integrity: A measure of how well the Hull can hold up against firepower.
    -=- Inner (Structural) Integrity: How well the structure can hold versus attacks such as ramming, collisions, and other strong kinetic forces.
    -=- Morale (I'll get into this later; I was thinking ships could host command groups, rulers, military leaders, etc, and those would boost morale. Morale would also be partially based on the ship's outer and integral health).
    -=- Garrison: How many troops the ship holds upon creation; used for boarding and deactivating other ships or bolstering friendly ships.
    -=- Parts Capacity: How many equippable objects the ship can mount.
    -=- Radar: How far the ship can see. Also determines ability to detect cloaked units.

*Note: Inner and Outer Integrity can be hit all at once, but attacks like this should be relatively few and far between; most often, a single attack will only be able to target either-or. Once Outer Hull Integrity is reduced to 0, however, all attacks can target the Inner, leaving the ship completely exposed.

So, ships will all have stats along those lines (nothing set in stone yet). Then, modular "equipment" can be placed outside of combat on certain ships (haven't decided if this will simply be select ships, batches of ships, or all of your available ships. Perhaps only the ships that survived the previous combat/campaign mission, and then for free-play simply have an allotted number of customizable ships per player that can be set in the free-play options?). Customizable ships won't have set "slots," per se, and obviously parts that are too large won't be able to be mounted on the ship.

Ugh, I ramble. Let me give an example instead.

So, here we have our Warbarge, unequipped and minimally damaged from the previous encounter.

Image

Now, we decide to equip it with a few parts gathered from our latest research engagement: a large rocket pod, an expanded command bridge, and a sensory array.

Image

So, the rocket pod is does exactly what it sounds like. It adds additional firepower to the ship. The command bridge would raise morale a bit and allow for multiple attacks to be split amongst targets (right click on the primary target, then left click on another enemy to set the secondary target?). The sensory array would adjust the ship's speed ever so slightly and expand its radar range.

As long as the Warbarge has the Parts Capacity to spare for three parts, this setup would work fine. The parts themselves would have a weight value that would adjust the ship's speed moderately, to keep players from simply stacking five parts on and going just as fast; that would lead to some really broken combinations.

Okay, done for now.
    Olly
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Postby dilanski » Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:57 am

The game should have multiple modes mainly a sandbox, for doing whatever you wanted with no restrictions and a storyline. storyline missions should be varied between many types of mission, destroy the enemy flagship, recover parts to a spaceship, hold out until reinforcement arrive, etc, there should never be a bland 'kill everyone' mission. as a hook to make someone want to get a game, the ability to create custom ships out of an inventory of 2D parts would be great.
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Postby Arkbrik » Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:25 pm

Be careful, this game sounds a lot like Battleships Forever.
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