RTS Novice

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  1. Episode 321: Act of Aggression

    Before C&C Generals and AoW, TopWare put out a similarly themed game on the (early 3D RTS) Earth 2150 engine: http://binged.it/1K3bMQR The factions were USA, Iraq, and Russia. Very similar in that and some other respects to Generals. Probably both were inspired by the first US / Iraq war and the idea that it was fueled by the need for oil. Does not play anywhere near as smoothly as Generals of course. It may have been a game that was made pretty quickly in order to make some more of that engine that ended up quickly forgotten and maybe not noticed by many to start with. They were still doing 2150 expansions at the time. Maybe they'd even heard news and details of Generals' development and took inspiration from that or vice versa. Generals, like many other C&C games was great after modders got ahold of it. Or maybe after the expansion. AoA sounds like a lot is carried over from AW like POWs and units one selects weaponry for but then has a much more complicated economy. Do things feel as cramped as they did in AoW? Part of the theme of that game was urban combat--you capture banks and fought over and between building. Even starting out a game away from the urban center of the map, there was never much room to build up. You had to expand quickly as you could only fit like four buildings in your starting location and couldn't tech up without building more. --- Sclpls, I also played Total Annihilation recently--on a Mac laptop. Thanks GOG. Claud, I feel sad every time I hear that the traditional RTS has died out, or will die out, or especially, that people are wanting the format to die out. Some people love it.
  2. Episode 290: Odds and Ends

    I remember reading a military SF novel based heavily around this idea before. Part of the Legion series by William C. Deitz, I think. It may have been By Blood Alone, but I'm looking at a description and it doesn't sound exactly right. And it may have had more to do with maneuvering than with sensors though they'd be important to know what positioning is needed. I remember it being all about being at just the right position at just the right moment.
  3. Episode 294: Fifty Shades of Grey Goo

    I was looking forward to the episode on Grey Goo, but wow. It starts off with the guys on the podcast completely getting wrong what UaW is, what EaW is, what SWGB was. Sounded like they hadn't played any of these games. How they started off describing GG fits UaW as well. Paired down with a concentration on very asymmetrical factions with a lot of character. Not that I really like UaW, but at least played it and the others, so there's a sense of context. Problem with it was that it was too paired down with factions that were a little too out there. It also had a very low unit cap (was made for console and had all these effects coming from buildings that were constantly on-screen and would probably contribute to lag if there were more units). I've been worried GG was going to continue in that direction. The game that was built on the AoE2 engine was Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds, not Empire at War and was made by Ensemble (AoE2). One UaW faction had conduits to power buildings that had to connect things, but the humans in Grey Goo sound restricted more like ED faction in Earth 2060. I think they could build a new hub center anywhere though as the faction in UaW can. Can the humans in GG really not expand with a new central hub or expand by building conduits outward? I remember reading a review once of SunAge where the reviewer thought that the game brought a completely new idea with having to connect buildings to power conduit structures in order to expand, but that actually existed back in Dominion: Storm over Gift 3. Often ideas in RTSs that seem new one will find go way back if they play even the sort of obscure, forgotten games. I often end up really enjoying the RTSs that were considered failures despite their problems. That's where one will often really see those unique ideas for the first time. Just played Praetorians again three days ago. Going to have to go back and finish the cast as it quickly got me distracted with wanting to post again after not having done so for a long time (hopefully not a rant though). It seemed so off to start with as there didn't seem to be the great sense of context that there is in the wargaming episodes. That said, I have or do play almost every RTS as trying each and every one became almost an obsession, and play them generally in order of release so there's a sense of context despite really just doing this over that past several years (the name RTS Novice came from the idea for a blog on this). It also helps not ruin the experience of playing an old game for the first time--something that also comes up in the episode.
  4. Episode 239: A Blizzard of Enthusiasm

    I had the podcast playing in the background while working on something, wasn't paying much attention, then I heard "spewed", "ganked" , and "filthy" in the space of a minute. Ha! Going to have to revisit that.
  5. Episode 238: State of the RTS

    It appears somebody put functionality into the forum to automatically change the term M O B A (as one word) to Lords Management. Funny. Testing - Lords Management Yep.
  6. Episode 238: State of the RTS

    In EEI you can tell what upgrades have been made via the unit info panel when you select a unit. It's on the far left if I recall correctly. In the expansion there was this very alien looking new space age. Good for an enemy faction I thought. So in order to have different looking factions in a future eras game, I would let AIs focus on aging up to that, and I would focus on upgrading my units in order to stand a chance. It made the game more challenging and factions that looked the same, and Empire Earth problem, wasn't a problem anymore. Taking control of units from a 1st person perspective is possible in Earth 2160 but not useful. It's a novelty to get into the driver's seat of a scout unit you sent out though. It's strange seeing a map from such a different perspective than usual. And you can drive at night with the headlights on which just feels strange. Works with aircraft, too. I think hero control is also possible in a game called Maelstrom. I'd avoid hero control if playing RaF. It's something for non-RTS action game fans put into a hybrid game. I don't see it being all that fun or useful if somebody actually likes RTS controls. ---- That's sort of the problem though isn't it? For those who do like traditional RTSs? And maybe it's part of the answer to "where did all those old-style RTSs go?". People complain and complain about the perceived unwieldiness of traditional RTSs, Developers stop making them, then we have podcasts asking if they've finally completely died off. It's not the users who like to play them who are most vocal I think (at least not w/offline players), so they are the ones left with nothing new. Developers then cater to players who didn't really like the style of game they were previously making to begin with, a style that was successful in the past. No wonder new ones often aren't successful. They aren't made for the people who like them--too small an audience. Hybrid games run the risk of not making anybody happy if the mix is not done exactly right for that time in game develpment. In regards to the question above of maybe making more RTSs WiC like, well yeah, it might be good for those who want something in-between an RTS and a Lords Management. But there are diehard RTS fans who have no interest in Lords Managements. It's a different audience, so the game is a hybrid that catches people in the in-between space. Is that space occupied by more people than that at either end of the spectrum? Can that space be made or grown by a really successful new game? ------- Oh, and regarding unit upgrades in EE(1), upgrades are applied to all units of that type from that point forward, not an individual unit. You probably will not notice any benefit until you apply enough upgrades (defensive and offensive - armor and guns for example and there were multiple types of each). It would be especially difficult to notice if you let the AI jump epochs on you as they get more powerful units. I'd let that happen intentionally to get more asymmetric factions. The choices of upgrades may be an example of something overly complicated, but to make the game more interesting, I got into it and then found a way to make the game more complicated intentionally. May be a sickness. I was having more fun, so it didn't feel like more work. The basic game was just a larger scale AoE in 3D. I recently found that Empires: Dawn of the Modern World was basically an Empire Earth game with more asymmetric factions built on an improved version of the EE(1) engine. It's not bad if one likes older, traditional RTSs.
  7. Episode 238: State of the RTS

    APM can help, but I think the choices one makes are still a more important part of traditional RTSs. Yes, strategy is big-picture, long-term thinking, but I tend to think of and describe RTS as a management exercise for multitaskers. Or an attention exercise. The games are all about the choices one makes about what to focus on at any given moment. It's like having 100 things to do at any given time and being forced to choose what few things one will focus on. Like real life. This is still strategy in the sense that after one makes an initial plan of attack, they have to support it and adapt to circumstances as the situation changes. As in the real world. And some people really enjoy the challenge (combined with some entertaining simulation of tanks or spacecraft or what have you). Of course, more actions per minute allows one to switch between tasks more quickly, but if one plays skirmish against AI's rather than mutliplayer, they can usually choose a speed and difficulty level that suits them. That said, there are a few games that don't let one adjust speed, even before a match, to force one to focus on APM (like RA3). There can also sometimes be a big step between difficulty levels in a title that one can get stuck at. I think I often like the large, sprawling RTSs that some reviewers might call "unwieldy". When things move too fast though, a large game really is (trying to grab and direct/micro individual aircraft in EEII is a bitch sometimes). Been going back to RoN lately.
  8. Episode 238: State of the RTS

    Did Troy mention a game called Tryst as an example of a recent RTS, or did I mishear the name?
  9. Episode 238: State of the RTS

    The Earth series, maybe? Build your own units--land, sea, and air. E2160 even has buildings that stack or connect laterally depending on faction. I think it hurts the game because it's simply annoying to have to stack structures. On top of that, no pun intended, you don't have as much of the enjoyment of seeing a base expand outward as you build up. Warzone 2100 has the unit construction feature as well.
  10. Episode 238: State of the RTS

    From a post on another thread when discussing Homeworld that I think relates to this episode "Interestingly, especially after listening to the latest podcast, it was [originally] to be a salvage economic game--a competitive game of salvaging crashed spacecraft on land. Again, that's just the impression I got reading what little there was out there about it." I definitely consider the city/castle/empire builders and "4X/RTSs" I have to be RTSs. Real-time tactics games like Ground Control I do not, though they have very related controls and gameplay. Something like Dawn of War or Homeworld (the Relic games) may fall somewhere in-between (I haven't played the second DoW at all, but it sounds like even less of an RTS, at least in some game modes).
  11. Ideas for 3MA shows

    What I read of the new Homeworld title (it wasn't to have the name Homeworld originally) gave the impression that it was to be spiritual successor with different gameplay. This was before the news of the developers being given permission to use the Homeworld IP. Interestingly, especially after listening to the latest podcast, it was to be a salvage economic game--a competitive game of salvaging crashed spacecraft on land. Again, that's just the impression I got reading what little there was out there about it. --- I actually haven't played that much of the Homeworld games and don't personally care much about the story in the games (though the story of a unique RTS being made that is then successful, if that's what you're referring to, I do find interesting). I just recently found out that there is a skirmish mode in the original game under Multiplayer. I'd gotten the second game first and it had none. When I first started the original I thought it was more of the same.
  12. Ideas for 3MA shows

  13. Episode 236: Q & A

    Couldn't there just be a questions thread created where it's made clear that questions are to be answered in certain podcast episodes rather than the thread itself? That is if they go with the idea of doing these episodes regularly. I think that idea may have been mentioned an episode way back and not much came out of it.
  14. Episode 236: Q & A

    Homeworld 3 was not mentioned as an upcoming space themed game. I guess not much info has been released about it, and it looks like it may be a ground-based sci-fi RTS rather than a space fleet game. And it's not a 4x of course. It's been awhile since I've been on the forums, so maybe I can find some discussion of it. Is anybody looking forward to a ground or part ground-based Homeworld RTS? It makes perfect sense that one can find miniatures at a modelling focused hobby shop. I really got into modelling things like detailed tanks and choppers as a kid and loved miniatures as well, but never used them for gaming. Modellers like miniatures and prepping and painting tiny parts in general. I looked into a position with a local miniatures company years ago though I'm really a digital artist. I think the owner of the company was interested in using me in the future for modelling and design, but the guy running the manufacturing/production operation really tried to convince me that I'd hate the job. Maybe I would've hated the hot casting work and couldn't really live on the pay, but I sort of wish I'd at least had a chance to try it out. I was actually doing product development art at a company that made small, detailed metal products not long before.
  15. Ancient warfare podcast

    Thanks. I shouldn't have been so lazy as to not post a link. I'm sure you'll be a good judge of the content.