RTS Concepts I've never seen

LordViking
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Post: #1
I just had an idea about RTS games involving resource and troop management. In an "Age of..." game, especially Age of Mythology, food is infinite. One could mass billions...trillions of food and create a huge army. They could also research better weapons and training for their troops, without any cost to them but a few resources.

I propose an idea that I've never seen in any RTS. Dynamic Food. If you've got an army of 60,000 axemen, you'd better be able to feed them, like 3 units of food every "day." Also better training and weaponry would cause a soldier's training to become more expensive manpower-wise. i.e. an untrained soldier uses up 1 house space. When better weapons are made for this soldier, it requires more labor to make these weapons. So if a soldeir upgraded from a sword to say, a rocket launcher, instead of the soldier being able to make the axe themselves (costing 1 population) it requires a team of 3 to make rockets and launchers seperatley (requiring a total pop of 4).

We can assume that soldiers in most RTS games are unwilling conscripts, so paying them a steady stream of gold would not be an issue.

Has anyone seen any of these concepts in a game? I know I haven't. But it would add a different gameplay strategy, should one go Russian Army (Historcally) with hordes of untrained soldiers for cheap? Or go United States Army with it's smaller army, but more technically advanced weaponry?
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Post: #2
Well in most RTS games, like say the *Craft games, each unit takes a certain amount of "food", and you have to build farms to supply "food" for those troops. No food is actually being produced, it's just a way to limit army sizes.

I've also seen it where food is literally produced and consumed. You can store or sell off excess, or buy additional food if necessary. But that style is generally reserved for turn-based games.

I haven't seen the upgraded troops require more resources, but it's certainly an interesting idea. And it makes sense when you think about it.
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Post: #3
The Settlers game series kind of implemented the idea of upgraded troops requiring more resources as you had to have people to mine the ore for the weapons and then people to smelt the ore and make the weapons.

It is not a direct 4 per person as they produce the items and then store them for use.
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Post: #4
Now, I can't remember where I read this - it might be in Game Architecture and Design (by Rollings&Morris). Keeping an eye on supply lines and food might be a pest for the player who just wants to play the fights, and it can be very annoying to have your soldiers starve to death, just because you forgot to feed them. Now, the solution is to not punish the player for starving the soldiers, but to reward her for feeding them. Morris proposed solution was to make well-fed units regenerate health. That way, you can either choose to make a well supported assault, or a desperate quick attack into foreign lands. Quite interesting, methinks.
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Post: #5
Quote:We can assume that soldiers in most RTS games are unwilling conscripts, so paying them a steady stream of gold would not be an issue.

Why run with that assumption? An army consisted of people fighting for their homeland might require less pay than an army of mercenaries, and other factors might affect pay. Why not spend advertising and recruitment dollars to find WILLING conscripts who accept less pay and/or come with better experience to start.


Quote:Morris proposed solution was to make well-fed units regenerate health. That way, you can either choose to make a well supported assault, or a desperate quick attack into foreign lands. Quite interesting, methinks.

Supply lines can be a major component of a full-scale war campaign, so it would be good to have games address the issue on some level. This is one good solution. Another solution for the player who doesn't want to deal with it is to have him pay some amount of gold to hire an advisor who handles that side of things, as well as defending the lines, etc. The advisor may or may not be "perfect", but at least you don't force the player to micromanage things that a real commander could probably delegate away anyway. Maybe there are even different advisors with different skill levels and different costs? Again, maybe your recruiting finds a willing conscript who happens to be a competent advisor and is willing to work for an infantryman's wages "for the good of his country".

I have been reading some of the Ender's Game (enderverse?) books (by Orson Scott Card, of course). The later books (Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets) offer some insights into military strategy from the point of view of a commander or some commanders. I imagine that if you read those with a RTS in mind, you would come up with some great new ideas. At the very least you get a well written, entertaining story :-)
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Post: #6
in warcraft 3, as you have more units, you pay an upkeep to keep more units.

also, as for the amassing of thousands of units, see American Conquest. Beautifully done in that aspect.
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Post: #7
What about a RTS based completely on food? You grow stuff and make stuff and lots of little people get hungry if there isn't enough. And if they get too hungry they stop growing stuff and making stuff and they get hungrier and die. And there could be locusts and wild cats and storms and droughts, and you would store food for winter in massive barns. You could get your little guys to research new ways of making food and growing food and they would set up markets with big flashing signs saying "Buy Food Here". Then you could have heaps and heaps of food and your sims would be big and fat and couldn't move anymore. Your barns would get upgraded to massive freezers filled with pre-processed TV Dinners and microwavable pies. Then your sims would find more efficient ways of eating and of supplying food, and KFC's and McDonalds' would start popping up everywhere. Chickens would get kept in tiny cages and disease would spread. The chickens might revolt against the little fat people and cause widespread destruction. The fast food restaurants would need heavy duty conveyor belts to move the little chicken pecked fat people around, and robots would be programmed to do all the farming. Eventually you would need to make all the doors bigger for people to fit through them, and all the people will be rolling around on their bellies. You would get the robots to construct intricate networks of frictionless vacuum pipes to get the food to the people and the people to the food. Eventually the little fat people would start exploding everywhere. You win when everyone has exploded.

Now thats an idea.

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Post: #8
reubert Wrote:What about a RTS based completely on food? You grow stuff and make stuff and lots of little people get hungry if there isn't enough. And if they get too hungry they stop growing stuff and making stuff and they get hungrier and die. And there could be locusts and wild cats and storms and droughts, and you would store food for winter in massive barns. You could get your little guys to research new ways of making food and growing food and they would set up markets with big flashing signs saying "Buy Food Here". Then you could have heaps and heaps of food and your sims would be big and fat and couldn't move anymore. Your barns would get upgraded to massive freezers filled with pre-processed TV Dinners and microwavable pies. Then your sims would find more efficient ways of eating and of supplying food, and KFC's and McDonalds' would start popping up everywhere. Chickens would get kept in tiny cages and disease would spread. The chickens might revolt against the little fat people and cause widespread destruction. The fast food restaurants would need heavy duty conveyor belts to move the little chicken pecked fat people around, and robots would be programmed to do all the farming. Eventually you would need to make all the doors bigger for people to fit through them, and all the people will be rolling around on their bellies. You would get the robots to construct intricate networks of frictionless vacuum pipes to get the food to the people and the people to the food. Eventually the little fat people would start exploding everywhere. You win when everyone has exploded.

Now thats an idea.
you know, you jest, but that's actually a really fun-sounding game. i mean, until you got silly.

it would be a really fun sim. "Food Tycoon." Any takers? hrm... udevgame idea... (joking here - i can barely code tic tac toe, and pong is proving time-consuming. i could i no way design a rts game Wink).
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LordViking
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Post: #9
skyhawk Wrote:in warcraft 3, as you have more units, you pay an upkeep to keep more units.

Yes, true, I like that concept, it sort of taxes your gold income before it actually arrives in your coffers. But money should be still taken from you as your arm grows.

Here's another idea, sort of modified from other posts in this thread:
Each unit has 3 "requirements" for success: Health, Morale, and Effectivness. Health is kept up with food, if a unit loses health, a supplyline to his platoon or whatever would keep them regenerating, and having better food would increase a soldier's hitpoints overall.

Morale is first set by how he entered the army (conscript, volunteer, mercenary, etc), and then how much he is being paid either at or past what he demands (a conscript, let's say you pay them at least 2 gold, but is an unwilling participant. A volunteer gets at least 5 gold, and is very willing to fight and die. A mercenary would cost at least 10 gold, but would be more willing to fight the more money paid past that.) Morale can also be changed by the nation's casus belli, if you are conscripting soldiers for no reason, then there would be resistance, but if there was a severe nationalism to fight, then you could conscript people willingly. Morale can also be increased by experience, a unit has won many battles, they'll be ready to kick anyone's ass, it's a good morale boost

Effectiveness is a relationship between Health, Morale, and Experience. If the unit is in good shape, healthy, has eaten recently, is being paid well, has strong nationalism, then it's effectivness increases. And if the unit has fought many battles, they know what they are doing. Effectiveness increases.

Oh, and I like the Food Tycoon idea...
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Post: #10
while it is all good and cool to have units' health to be measured with food supply and rationing, you have to make this an EASY chore for the gamer, otherwise it becomes micromanaging, and most gamers don't like that (4E gamers not included)
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LordViking
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Post: #11
skyhawk Wrote:while it is all good and cool to have units' health to be measured with food supply and rationing, you have to make this an EASY chore for the gamer, otherwise it becomes micromanaging, and most gamers don't like that (4E gamers not included)

Yeah, if it wasn't obvious yet, I am a 4E gamer...
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Post: #12
yes, i hate micromanagement. mind you, i hate wc3 too because you can play the entire game by simply amassing a large army and then right-clicking in the middle of your objective and watching.
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Post: #13
LordViking Wrote:Here's another idea, sort of modified from other posts in this thread: Each unit has 3 "requirements" for success: Health, Morale, and Effectivness.

Yeah, I like this post. You have a managable number of variables with enough room for different strategies... and it is unique too. Wink
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