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RTS mode?


GenesisAria
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I used to play a game called Empires mod when it was newer, it's a source mod where there was a command vehicle in which a single person would be viewing the map and conflict from above like an RTS. They had the full abilities of any RTS, they would manage funds and place structures and whatnot, putting resource gatherers on the resource nodes, building barracks and weapons factories and so on. The person in the command vehicle could also mark targets for the rest of the team, so they could see who inside bunkers and behind trees and so on (comm could only mark them if they were in view range of ground people)

The commander would place the buildings and they'd be inoperable, they'd appear with minimum hp, and the people with the repair tools would then go to it and repair it to build it. Once it was fully built it became functional with it's full hp and so on. The players would purchase their own tanks and so-on, as well as their classes, but the base building was something set up by the commander, strategies and so on. The engineer class could build small turrets and walls and things like that. One map there was even a platform on a roof where you could place a barracks and surround it with walls to prevent it dying to tanks.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/17740/

this is the game

I was wondering if something like that would be at all possible in the future for Renegade X? I realize it's a totally different style of game to renegade, which is all about using tactics based on the pre-made maps and bases (RTS mode would require totally different map designs), but what do you think? Despite how assy it looks, it was actually a pretty interesting concept.

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I've played every single C&C since the first, and even enjoy C&C4, all of them have their merits. I also know that a lot of the designs in Renegade were not super accurate to the original C&C.

I was implying it might be very interesting to make a full hybrid, could even give it the familiar C&C ui for the rts commander. Only one person would be in RTS mode, the commander, everyone else would be playing it like renegade.

Having played Empires mod a bunch in the past, i recall a lot of very interesting and clever tactics being used based on how you positioned your structures and how you expanded and defended, and how you protected your command vehicle. There was even the concept of the "ninja racks" as they called it, a barracks that they would build in a backup or semi-hidden location should the base get overrun, or perhaps as a spawn location near the enemy base.

Seeing ideas from that shaken up with a C&C/Renegade flare could be really cool.

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I always liked many ideas:

-Making one person the overhead view as you suggested, possibly being the only one to give global alerts and warnings while player alerts go to him for him to relay, as well as him having powers to group teammates into squads perhaps.

-Not in C&C but in a fps rts, make it to were you start off in several flat areas with many geological divisions between like tunnels or mountain paths, and in the flat areas are a resource you have to build on and defend, which brings base-building and territory capture and expansion into the game. In the instance of SupCom style games, in unreal you could do a "dungeon defender" style framework layout for a structure, then when it is laid you simply shoot it with a "repairgun" or "nanoconstruction gun" and it fills it's health.

-Have each player control a squad of 4 or 5, he controls one and the rest are controlled by bots, he can cycle control of any one of them at a time, can purchase classes for them, a squad vehicle that they can ride in or walk alongside as support, and any that die can be collected at base and the controlling player doesn't respawn at base unless every member dies.

I personally can't program a game, but between knowing engine limitations and the such, I would personally fund with lottery winning if I ever won, the development of such a game. I say SupCom earlier btw, because I could totally see Totem Arts working in collaboration with Uber Entertainment on a first person rts based on the style of Planetary Annihilation, like I described above where the terrain has 6 resource and basebuilding areas and terrain dividing them, and early game raiding before bases are up and expansion and resource collection, and each player has 5 units at once he can control individually and give orders to the rest. Basically, C&C Renegade meets Total Annihilation. I could see that making a hot game honestly...

...then again, on a completely unrelated note, I could also see a good game coming out of a FPS variant of a dungeon crawler based on armor and element values like Runescape Dungeoneering, sort of a coop where you start in a dungeon with a handful of items and everything else is aquire on site or craft by hand, and each room is procedural, and enemies have strengths and weaknesses such as water, electricity, and earth, and plate and cloth, and various weapons and skills to craft equipment, as well as the skills and items applying to a number of puzzles to unlock doors or bypass rooms. The handful of items you do start with can be meta, where progress made in previous dungeons can allow you to keep just one piece of gear or upgraded item to start with in the future.

Video game design is fun, is the point of all that. It is just a shame sometimes it never gets past concept, when it can be so much fun to so many players, and the gaming community should be the focus sometimes but sadly enough since someone has to spend time for development it inevitably sometimes is just business.

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I always liked many ideas:

-Making one person the overhead view as you suggested, possibly being the only one to give global alerts and warnings while player alerts go to him for him to relay, as well as him having powers to group teammates into squads perhaps.

-Not in C&C but in a fps rts, make it to were you start off in several flat areas with many geological divisions between like tunnels or mountain paths, and in the flat areas are a resource you have to build on and defend, which brings base-building and territory capture and expansion into the game. In the instance of SupCom style games, in unreal you could do a "dungeon defender" style framework layout for a structure, then when it is laid you simply shoot it with a "repairgun" or "nanoconstruction gun" and it fills it's health.

This is exactly how Empires Mod plays, if there's any active servers with players, you should try it out (it was pretty good back when i played it, though there might be more griefers now.)
...then again, on a completely unrelated note, I could also see a good game coming out of a FPS variant of a dungeon crawler based on armor and element values like Runescape Dungeoneering, sort of a coop where you start in a dungeon with a handful of items and everything else is aquire on site or craft by hand, and each room is procedural, and enemies have strengths and weaknesses such as water, electricity, and earth, and plate and cloth, and various weapons and skills to craft equipment, as well as the skills and items applying to a number of puzzles to unlock doors or bypass rooms. The handful of items you do start with can be meta, where progress made in previous dungeons can allow you to keep just one piece of gear or upgraded item to start with in the future.
That sounds a lot like Destiny.
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I was implying it might be very interesting to make a full hybrid, could even give it the familiar C&C ui for the rts commander. Only one person would be in RTS mode, the commander, everyone else would be playing it like renegade.

Im sure the devs know about RTS/FPS hybrids like Empires, Nuclear Dawn, Iron Grip Operession/Warlord(where the free Sourcemod looked better than the Quake 3 engine commercial game :P ), Natural Selection 1/2, Savage 1/2, Hostile Waters, Urban Assualt, Battlezone 1/2, or even Tremulous and Unvanquished. But the thing is, RenegadeX a fairly faithful HD remake of good ol C&C Renegade, and for some rabid old timers its not oldschool enough, so turning it to a much more complex game would surely get their panties in a twist, and would go jihad on your sorry ass even for suggesting such a blasphemy. :cool:

Also recent fuckups* like Nuclear Dawn, NS2, and Empires shown us that these games rely soo heavily on commanders, they are barely playable in public matches. You can get a side stacked and still lose if your commander is incompetent.

*ND is mostly dead around 1 server at best, Empires is totally dead, only played on weekends if and when the vets come back, NS2 has retained a small community, but they dont really welcome noobies.

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Thats not a game mode. :P It would need totally different map design(since RenX relies on static emplacements), new UI elements, new game design elements(duh), rebalancing of units(even a simple deployable ammo cache can cause disturbance in the Force), VOIP support(this is a must), basically lots of additional work and programming just to split up the community even more so that it is now(old Ren, TS Reborn, RA Path Beyond, random other Renegade mods, and now RenX)

I mean Totem Arts as a hobby team barely can keep up the 2 patch per year update schedule, how and when will they have time for another game mode let alone a total conversion.

Btw deployable guns and support equipment is/was planned(it was in pre public beta release screenshots and videos), that may lend a sniff of random RTS tower defense to the game, and if BroTranquilty really wins the lottery well see a dozen new C&C projects emerging. :D

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  • 2 weeks later...
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I would really like new game mode thad does away with this "hurr durr, stay true to Renegade"

They managed to make turrets behave as semi-buildings, although they are probably almost vehicles code-wise.

It would surely be possible to make base buildings behave like that.

But I got "won't happen dude" answer enough times here to know not to get my hopes up.

Best way to make this happen is that those of us who are interested start working on mod that would implement RTS mode.

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I would really like new game mode thad does away with this "hurr durr, stay true to Renegade"

They managed to make turrets behave as semi-buildings, although they are probably almost vehicles code-wise.

It would surely be possible to make base buildings behave like that.

But I got "won't happen dude" answer enough times here to know not to get my hopes up.

Best way to make this happen is that those of us who are interested start working on mod that would implement RTS mode.

Mod away. The dev team is saying they don't have the time or care to do it.

I was more just posing ideas for mods or distant future updates . . . It's taking long enough for them to get beta4 out, it'd take them ages to do anything major like a total conversion game mode. I get that.

There are ways it could be made to work, for example each player has their income, and could purchase structures instead of vehicles if they wanted... make the structures behave more like immobile vehicles (make immobile vehicles look like structures), without the terminals in them, just less HP. Maybe smaller versions of the buildings. Cap limits on how many of each structure you can have yadda yadda. And make it so they completely blow up when dead, freeing the space, no rubble or husk. Team wins if they blow up the Construction Yard (which would be able to handle more than one Nuke/Ion, maybe have less damage through the terminal, or no terminal at all) Wouldn't be too difficult to do, just a lot of work.

C&C has a long history of dividing it's community through numerous mods. Modding is almost the pride of the C&C community now. The issue with RenX is that not enough people know about it. I've been a C&C follower for a very long time, in and out all the mods, and i only recently heard of RenX being playable, i'd only gotten wind of it a few years ago about a possible project.

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tower defense game could be interesting :D
I used to play on old gamespy servers in Renegade that had turret purchasing and so on, you could buy a small anti-inf guard tower and stuff like that and drop it in front of you or w/e . . . I remember people sticking them on top of buildings and stuff all over on volcano. I quite enjoyed that server.
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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 11 months later...

Heya,

Following up on Testman's comments:

Best way to make this happen is that those of us who are interested start working on mod that would implement RTS mode.
SDK and RenX assets are out' date=' tutorials are avaliable...

...

we just need to get together all people who would like to see this game mode happen.

What is the best way to do that?[/quote']

I just wanted to "revive" this thread (because Empires mod was already mentioned which lead me to the same intentions to think about RTS in Renegade X), or (if desired) we could start a new thread which is dedicated to developing/discussing such a concept.

Some thoughts for those, who are interested in working out a RTS gamemode for RenX :rolleyes: :

1. Although the Devs have done great work with RenX (!!!), forget about current game mechanics and their implementation. Instead we should develop the FPS/RTS hybrid concept from the ground up, and then see if (how) this can be implemented within current game mechanics (e.g. purchase terminals, vehicle manager etc.)

2. Multiplayer implementation?

Some games/mods that combine FPS and RTS are mainly focused on singleplayer (Warshift), or are not close enough to traditional base building RTS (Natural Selection, Nuclear Dawn?); is it still playable/enjoyable with fewer players? Balance between teams?

3. Balance between RTS elements and FPS elements ?

especially resources (individual credits, team funds, tiberium storage ?), power supply, re-spawn, game-winning conditions, "fog of war", sell buildings, multiple building instances/bases, ...

4. One commander per team vs. decentralised organisation?

Voting? Squad hierarchy? Contributing to building funds? 2D-Minimap instead of 3D free fly camera? Placing on the ground level? Split the work of base building, esp. walls, turrets? Grab an MCV, some friends in an APC and build another independent outpost? Purchasable AI-Bots?

5. Be critical: discuss possible/exploitable situations and how our concept could address that.

(e.g. when you want to place a building, push blocking vehicles/infantry aside, instead of killing them)

6. Additional Buildings?

Function/benefit; costs;Technology trees;

e.g. repair pad could refill vehicle ammunition (if limited); CommCenter could enable minimap and 3D spotting; extend unit limit with 2nd WF/Barracks, or introduce "Depot" ...

6. Harvesters (manual control (only) vs. AI Pathfinding)

... more to come (waiting for feedback/interest ;) )

To highlight the importance of such conceptual discussions: in RTS you spend money in order to repair a building, whereas in FPS you earn credits when repairing buildings...

p.s. As some may know, I cannot devote much time to modding, in particular because mapping (Hammerfest) takes a lot of manual work at the moment, however, I would like to communicate some ideas which swirl in my head when I am "free" for a few minutes throughout the day :P

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True, that's going to be one of the main issues !

Check this mod out: http://www.moddb.com/mods/unreal-construction-udk

Basically a sandbox mod (multiplayer compatible - collision!) and more than a RTS mode would need in terms of dynamic environment - but I feel it shows the possibilities within UDK:

P_BV86tlE1s

I suggest base building based on grid snap and only 90 degrees rotation: makes building much easier (and computable ) and would also feel more C&C-ish ;)

Like this: I fitted "bounding" bases under each building made of 512x512 brushes (see the red one at the WF) for reference

gdi_base_gridqzurf.png

Using such bases would overcome glitches, but looks ugly - yet it is a good starting point.

Ideally*, we could smooth the terrain around the buildings within each box to fit the buildings outline (Similar to C&C Generals.) - as indicated by the gravel texture around the WF. The landscape grid is 64x64 which would allow for smoothing within the boundaries of a placed building...

Dynamic ingame terrain/landscape modification

gOY1dZ7pI0o

*obviously, all this might only be relevant for a later stage, when it comes to "fanciness", but again it shows the possibilities.

In general I could imagine building placement WITHOUT a designated Commander (thus no team-funds), and in first/third person, like in enemy territory: quake wars

-1206138906.jpg

Whoever wants to build a new structure, buys the "blueprint"/basis/fundament for say 5% of the total building costs and places it (as above) in the desired location. The building is spawned in the world with 0% health but not functional. Now every engineer (costless!) can repair the building, but in this game mode repairing would be costly - why?

1) The total purchase price for a structure is too high for an individual player (and in this suggestion there are no separate building funds for the total team)

2) everyone can contribute voluntarily (!) and the building costs can be spread across the team

3) in C&C it took time to build/buy a structure, but

4) the more cooperative a team plays the faster they can build up a base

5) if a structure is placed in a bad location, or redundant because another instance was constructed already, the initial constructer can "sell" the "blueprint"/basis/fundament

6) engineers would still earn points for their work, but not credits - RTS is resource based, and repairing/constructing something that is destroyed requires resources and does not GENERATE them...

Once the building is fully repaired, it is activated and technology becomes available.

What do you think?

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I would be happy with a gamemode where you can rebuild your lost buildings on their original same spot, with depletable tiberium field. That could be a different game mode.

By the way, instead of creating an overseer mode, it would be enough to enhance team communication with better, relevant message-types, with inbuilt teamspeak system. Even an option where I can message 'thank you'; 'take cover' with one click would be great. :)

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thanks for the feedback!

Yeah, I know this would be too ambitious - that's exactly why I would rather just discuss it, and then see:

1) how such a more complex game mode could work out in a balanced, innovative and enjoyable way?

2) how it could technically be implemented, and what would be needed, i.e. a functional specification, classes, etc. ?

3) how do people like it? How many people are interested in it?

=> the clearer the picture the better one could judge if it is worthwhile AND feasible?

That's all - I just wanted to start this "thought experiment"... ;)

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2. Multiplayer implementation?

Some games/mods that combine FPS and RTS are mainly focused on singleplayer (Warshift), or are not close enough to traditional base building RTS (Natural Selection, Nuclear Dawn?); is it still playable/enjoyable with fewer players? Balance between teams?

I think that the moment you go for an all-out FPS+RTS hybrid that you are stuck with bots being an integral part of the experience. A 1v1 or even 5v5 wouldn't work well in most scenario's because it would completely stomp on the RTS genre. If every soldier on the ground is player controlled you'd better make servers with 50 players at minimum playing at a time, otherwise it's just FPS with a few RTS elements tacked on.

A hybrid would need bots to command and move around. The FPS element would come the moment you take control of a unit. With the ability to take control of any AI unit players can do FPS as much as they like. With the costs involved for any unit you are actually pressed to do the most with the least amount of resources.

I think we would also move away from the run&gun style combat we have in Renegade and most other shooters. To satisfy the RTS crowd more you would have to use the environment to your advantage. I would love to see an RTS anyway where it's more about cover and unit placement rather than the amount of clicks per second you can do and aggressive expansion. If infantry and tanks could be ordered close to cover that they would use to increase their survival as well as less of a calculation game where it's more about unit stats than actual stragetic play and outmaneuvering your enemy I would love it.

3. Balance between RTS elements and FPS elements ?

especially resources (individual credits, team funds, tiberium storage ?), power supply, re-spawn, game-winning conditions, "fog of war", sell buildings, multiple building instances/bases, ...

Basically my idea would be to make every single player the commander. Everyone can command units around, everyone can build. This leads to a much deeper level of macro and micro management, where one player can focus on the economical side while other players are managing a fight somewhere else.

Resources would be spread between a communal pot and the players. The communal pot receives 25%, the rest is spread over the players to do with as they please. Whenever you build or customize a unit it willl cost first from your personal pool and then from the communal pool. That way there's always something you can do.

Since players build one and the same base I think that power supply would work normally. Although you could use an Earth 2150 idea where you need transmitting stations that supply power in a small area around them after you've build the actual powerplant somewhere else.

I think a fog-of-war would be important. Weapon range could be extremely long, but vision is obscured. After X meters each unit see's a blurred line. Behind that blurred lin eyou can see a slightly blurred environment but no units. Any units vision bubble removes the blur, and any unit visible by one of your own units is visible to the player as well in command and FPS mode.

This heavily emphasises vision and removes the ability of FPS players to fire at units that aren't visible. FPS players would have the advantage over AI controlled bots that they are capable of firing at things that moved beyond their vision, although I think that AI controlled units could be taught to take potshots in the direction they saw an enemy escape.

Vision would also be a cone, rather than a dome. So AI controlled units wouldn't be able to see behind them. This breeds a more tactical gameplay, where players can't just create a defense based on having X units there with lots of firepower. Players would have to rely on vision and shocktroops (ideally 3D prints!). Sending in a (short-lived) scout would allow your other units to fire accurately, while your enemy can only guess at your exact location when returning fire. This also helps enforce a mixed army rather than "build X tanks and rush". Lower tier units are still useful, since their lower cost and vision make them ideal as sacrificial unit. You also have need for shocktroops that are used as canon fodder (3D prints again) to protect your more valuable and powerful units.

4. One commander per team vs. decentralised organisation?

Voting? Squad hierarchy? Contributing to building funds? 2D-Minimap instead of 3D free fly camera? Placing on the ground level? Split the work of base building, esp. walls, turrets? Grab an MCV, some friends in an APC and build another independent outpost? Purchasable AI-Bots?

Decentralized, communal organization. Most RTS's have simplified combat based on numbers and stats mostly because a player can focus on only so many things. By having multiple commanders that can simultaneously command several sets of units you overcome this need for simplification and have deeper mechanics. The cover system for instance would already clutter the world with more obstacles and cover, and open up the road for tactical decisions to destroy cover during battle or even before battle, or to place your own cover. Tactics could include preparing a battlefield beforehand, destroying cover that you think the enemy will use or even rigging some cover as traps once the enemy will try to use it in combat to either damage the units or simply remove the cover. Another addition would be flanking, where flanking a unit in cover would yield additional bonusses to accuracy to destroy that unit.

A few units could be temporarily reserved by a player, allowing that player absolute control without having to wrestle with someone who thinks those units should be doing something else. The higher your rank and/or capabilities the more units you can reserve and for longer, although it won't be more than a % of the total amount of units compared to the total amount of players around. Reserved units cannot be FPS controlled by other players either for the duration of the reservation.

Not only is it a way to make sure some units are doing what you want them too, it will enforce teamwork. Rather than one player trying to control 30 units not knowing if there's another player also trying to control (a portion of) those units, you instantly see which units you cannot control, and you can focus on positioning the remaining units. This would create a better micromanagement of the units and a stronger battlefield as a whole. With added micro-communications, where radio commands and microphone communications are restricted to almost exclusively the players helping the units in that battle you can really go deep in the amount of strategy these units can pull off.

5. Be critical: discuss possible/exploitable situations and how our concept could address that.

(e.g. when you want to place a building, push blocking vehicles/infantry aside, instead of killing them)

Exploits would mostly be hampering your team deliberately or through mismanagement because of a lack of experience.

I think I'll use my MMORTS solution for this. Players get access to 3D printed buildings, vehicles and soldier as well as normally build buildings, vehicles and soldiers. 3D printed stuff is cheap, degrades over time if you don't keep it in repair and is in general weaker than a normally build unit. Every player can designate some 3D printers as their own, and everything they build with it is 100% under their control. They can share control if they want, but by default no one can control these units.

The normally build units and structures are stronger (better armor, speed), smarter (the AI controlling them is better at using cover and has better accuracy and choses the right weapon for the job quicker) and shared between all players in the game. Every player has a rank based on their performance in that game and other games and can control a certain amount of units based on that rank, the aforementioned reserving of units. Players can vote to decrease someone's privilages to reserve or control units if they think that player is trolling or hampering them, leaving that player to play with his personal 3D printed buildings and units. This way you can punish players without having to fully remove them from the game only to troll somewhere else. This way a noob can also be taught the ropes, the noob will only be sacrificing and managing his own 3D printed stuff. Since 3D printed stuff is cheaper and quicker build the 'punishment' might actually not be that harsh, especially since all the players personal resources will now be available for 3D printed stuff rather than communal buildings and units. Any noob that manages to get certain stats or achievements, such as a solid resource collection despite his inferior units or destroy more than his units are worth, will get some privileges that the other players cannot vote to take away.

Players that consistently mismanage communal units but are doing well with their 3D printed one's will receive automatic restrictions on their reservation privileges, and be able to control less if any communal units. If you can manage your 3D printed units but consistenly mismanage your communal one's you are definitely trolling.

Another exploit I can see would be the difference between an FPS controlled unit and AI controlled unit. if for instance a player-controlled sniper can wipe the floor with almost any other infantry unit things get quickly out of hand and the RTS part of the game gets murdered. I think the best balance would be somewhere between player-controlled being simply better because they sacrifice their ability to lead those units more easily, but that groups of AI infantry could quickly outflank and kill player-controlled units if they aren't careful. Especially if a player is ordering those AI infantry around it shouldn't be too hard to overwhelm and kill/destroy player-controlled units.

6. Additional Buildings?

Function/benefit; costs;Technology trees;

e.g. repair pad could refill vehicle ammunition (if limited); CommCenter could enable minimap and 3D spotting; extend unit limit with 2nd WF/Barracks, or introduce "Depot" ...

In my idea you would instantly need very large maps. If quantum computing isn't available a cartoonish style gameplay would be awesome since you can marry relatively high quality looking gameplay but can devote most resources to the AI and how things are controlled etc.

For buildings I think you would mostly need extra things added like different base walls, base entrances, various guard towers, gun nests and field-deployable defenses like sandbags or barbed wire fences.

6. Harvesters (manual control (only) vs. AI Pathfinding)

... more to come (waiting for feedback/interest ;) )

To highlight the importance of such conceptual discussions: in RTS you spend money in order to repair a building, whereas in FPS you earn credits when repairing buildings...

I think the rewards, at least in my idea, would mostly be tied to a overall rank and a game-oriented rank. A higher rank in either will mean more units you can control at a time, possibly more resources available to you and possibly a larger variety of mutating options for your units available. For instance a low rank player only has access to the standard unit. A higher tier player can change the loadout option of that unit to have flak armor, or special composit armor on their tank, or a weapon that deals less damage against tanks but more against buildings etc. That way players have more customization of their units in side-grades, but a low rank won't really be any worse off. In fact, a low rank player has all the time in the world to learn the ropes with the standardized units before additional complexity is thrown at him through customizations.

p.s. As some may know, I cannot devote much time to modding, in particular because mapping (Hammerfest) takes a lot of manual work at the moment, however, I would like to communicate some ideas which swirl in my head when I am "free" for a few minutes throughout the day :P

Here's something for a few 5 minutes

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Demigan, that were some intensive 5 minutes^^

I agree with you, controllable AI-bots would be quite essential for RTS with corresponding micro-management options, i.e. more than 1 all-mighty Commander. Large maps with multiple routes/cover is a must, of course!

Additional defensive structures are also very cool - RenX already features a lot of objects: gun emplacements, hesco barriers (+ sandbags and barbed wire), chain link fence, heavy concrete base walls (+ walkways?), tank obstacles, gates, etc. ... :cool:

However, I see some problems with your suggestions:

Different players should not be able to control the same units. In fact, that is the reason why the military uses such a strict chain of command. :P (and based on rank within the game, results in a spiral of good players becoming more powerful, and new players never catching up...)

Yet, to allow for micro-management, why not use a group-hierarchy like in other games, e.g. Battlefield, or Armed Assault: every player is free to join or create a new group/"squad". As leader of the group, one can fill the slots (max. 5-8?) by inviting other players, or buying AI-bots (same costs as if buying the character for one-self).

Finally, you can give simple commands to your squad-members (individually?), such as "follow me/formation...", "take cover...", "move to ...", "attack ...", "use ... (vehicle)", "repair ...", "defend ..."

Advanced units cost more, and skill-upgrades (aim?) could be bought for AI.

A Commander might be necessary to coordinate the groups and the battle as a whole.

Commander & Group Leader can give orders both in 1st/3rd Person view by pointing at the object/location (using a similar mechanic as "Q" radio messages), or by opening a tactical map menu, (enlarged minimap, 2D image, no 3D camera!, with fog of war)

I also agree with you that perspective/Vision is important for AI-guards, but I don't like the idea of blurred vision for players, limited weapon/spotting range is better... or again map layout/design.

One of Renegade's (and C&C's in general) qualities is its simplicity.

Therefore the distinction between 3D-printed and "normal" units/buildings, and between personal and communal funds is redundant imho, as well as some more complicated mechanics around customization of units and rank systems - which also goes in line with your suggestion of enabling new players to catch up easily...

Some of those ideas are probably relevant for a later development stage. ;)

An important point however, are funds: either communal, which are then administered by an all mighty commander, or personal - I think the hybrid makes it too complicated.

personally, I prefer the idea of individual funds, as in Renegade at the moment:

Every player is given (1000) credits at start, which they should/have to use in order to build a base. (everyone can get repair tool!)

Keep in mind that buying heavy units is not possible, because the relevant buildings/technology are lacking!

Harvester delivers the same amount of credits to every player, e.g. fully loaded +500.

Tiberium fields are depletable, i.e. they regrow, but at a lower rate.

Silos can be built to increase the efficiency of the refinery, e.g. +100 on each harvest, as well as +0.5 credits per second. I also thought of "interest rates" on tiberium stock, but meh...

Maybe, one could also limit the maximum amount of credits per player, to 2000, which can be increased by building more silos...

finally base building and energy:

I would like everyone to participate in building the base, but avoiding a mess at the same time:

As suggested before, 1 player buys/places the building construction site, everyone else can help and repair it (we even have personal repair tools!).

I think that only group leaders and commanders should be able to buy/place buildings, however everyone could potentially open a new squad or apply as commander.

Let me quickly elaborate on the building mechanics, as before based on a 64x64 (or 512x512, to be discussed!) grid:

rts2_1rns8y.png

Every map contains at least 2 additional grids per team:

building grid:

0 - empty and not in building range, but sandbags etc. might be placed (?)

1 - building range, can be built

2 - occupied cell, friendly structure (each building instance has - depending on its size variables to store its coordinates, which can be used to address the corresponding cells in the grid)

5 - obstructed cell, blocked by nature, unsuitable for building (has to be set by the level designer!)

rts2_2_build0as1k.png

energy grid:

a powerplant creates positive energy supply in the cells around its location (maybe with different intensity depending on the distance), whereas other buildings consume energy and reduce the energy supply. In this suggestion, every building only reduces the energy supply on the cells it is occupying, but one could think of a similar mechanic as for the powerplant.

rts2_3_energyqcsj8.png

Only if the average/minimum value of power supply of all cells occupied by a building a above a certain energy threshold, e.g. 0 the building is active - otherwise low power.

A building can only placed in the building range, if some of the cells are not in the building range, i.e. value > 1, they will be displayed as red, and the whole outline of the structure is red as well (see AGT on the right).

rts1kpspi.png

as soon as the building is placed, the building grid will be updated to the newly occupied cells.

When it is fully repaired and functional, the energy grid will be updated and then again the building grid (to extend the building range around it).

Similarly, once a building is destroyed these processes will be reversed. For powerplants this implies that some buildings receive insufficient power supply.

Also every building updates the tech tree (available units and prices), when it is active/low power/destroyed...

What do you think?

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I see that there is still interest for base construction aspect.

In my honest opinion, Renegade X is in it's current state not the best place to start developing this kind of game mode, because it require core of the game to be heavily modified.

And nobody in RenX community has time or energy for that.

I think that better place to start implementing such mode would be current/upcoming Unreal Tournament.

Just like in RenX, a lot of things are already laid out for you: Unreal Engine 4 (you can even get to source code on Github if you want), SDK, player profiles (rank, stats), character models, weapons...

Vehicles are still in the making, but will probably come relatively soon.

As of proper maps, base building mechanics, game-mode specific assets, those would all need to be coded/made.

It would still be a lot of work, but less than re-coding RenX core.

I already made a thread on UT forums about that idea, and I saw similar idea also suggested by other people there.

https://www.epicgames.com/unrealtournam ... -game-mode

Maybe starting a game from scratch would also be viable option, but I think it would bring way more work than making game mode / mod for existing game.

That wouldn't make Renegade X any less desirable or playable, since being in C&C universe is still one of it's greatest appeals.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for the link - some good comments there!*

Yes, starting such a project from the scratch (maybe UE4) gives the necessary freedom, especially in designing the core mechanics - and of course it would be a lot of work!

In fact, I also thought about "porting" ...

However, I believe, you don't have to "re-invent the wheel": the general concept (story, models, etc.) and mechanics of FPS/RTS feel fairly well balanced in Renegade (and the Tiberium universe) - also the C&C franchise has a huge fanbase.

Plus, Totem Arts managed to recreate (and improve!) this concept in an openly accessible SDK - so why forget about all this progress... ?

To be honest: the main feature is to develop a gamemode which enables dynamic base building!

Obviously, such a gamemode would involve changes in other mechanics: victory conditions, resource management (tiberium, credits, points, vehicle/mine limit...) , organisation/hierarchy (Commander, squads, AI-bots? etc.), gameplay and balance (respawn, AI-pathfinding) ...

And yes, it would take a dedicated team to code and debug such features, and I do know that these resources are not available atm. .

So, why am I sticking to RenX forum instead of your post on epicgames forum?

Because of the resources and the experiences from the development of RenX (some of which could be shared for extending the C&C gamemode with a "base-building module").

The overall RTS/FPS concept is already at your fingertips: no need to worry about factions, units, natural resources, buildings, vehicles etc. C&C Renegade (X) has it all!

*However, the central idea, of how to combine FPS and RTS basebuilding is still to be answered/discussed (also in your thread on epicgames forum).

I don't want to discourage your initiative for a standalone re-development from the scratch - yet, building on what Totem Arts has already achieved, might facilitate the progress tremendously ;)

Again, I wanted to revive this thread in order to plan and discuss (!!!) how to add/incorporate base building to the existing C&C gamemode, not to split the community, and neither to start working / coding right away...

As mentioned multiple times before, it would be a lot of work to get all the code to work, to debug and balance.

The first step (imho) is to think of how to combine FPS with base building - and how it would be balanced!

Please, I don't want to discuss if you think such a project is worth pursuing, I would rather see, how those of you that are interested could imagine the gameplay, and the overall balance (based on your experiences with RenX or other games). Thanks.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I would rather see, how those of you that are interested could imagine the gameplay, and the overall balance (based on your experiences with RenX or other games). Thanks.

I think a good way to look at it, is rather from RTS view point (think of it as you are trying to implement a first person aspect into a game like tib wars or any other C&C game). Because then it would save a lot of time thinking about how you could fit this RTS mode in.

Another thought it that when you start a game in RTS mode, your team has say 5-10 minutes to discuss and plan how their base will look, and each player gets 500 credits. But credits are not generated during this "design stage" (another thought is that your team starts with an already deployed con yard). Alright, so your team has discussed how the base will be laid out. Now who will actually place where the buildings are going to be? The person who contributes the final amount of credits? A voted commander could be possible for this. But as somebody said above, each player could get a squad of 5-10 bots that they can command.

Victory condition? Destroy the enemy Construction Yard. But they would have to go through the enemy base to get there (possible laser fence post defending con yard for Nod, and firestorm wall for GDI?)

Also "Grab an MCV, some friends in an APC and build another independent outpost?" THAT IS WHAT I WOULD DO ALL DAY EVERYDAY *remembers above victory condition that I wrote* oh..umm..well...scrap that victory condition then!

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I have a bit of different idea about how RTS mode would work.

Each player could "suggest" a building placement, which would display a wireframe or transparent hologram of how building would look like when it will be built.

Then if players agree with the placement, they can donate to the said emplacement. Building gets instantly constructed when enough credits are donated.

This should probably be done trough some interface that player can bring up any time during the match, so that they don't have to travel whole map just to get base construction going. Or even ability to auto-donate if player doesn't want to be bothered with base construction and trusts his teammates that they will construct base properly.

Such game mechanic would allow for base expansion and re-construction of destroyed buildings without needing every player to be bothered with that.

Some FPS/RTS games make it so that you have individual player credits and team credits separate, but that implies that there is one person (commander) responsible for efficient use of team credits. If there is no commander, each individual has access to team credits, which can result in wrong buildings on wrong places at wrong times.

I would set victory condition to be all buildings destroyed, not just ConYard.

I like the idea of MCVs being in game, but team should probably start game with one already deployed, so that some new player doesn't decide to just drive away with it. ConYards should be able to transform back into MCVs, but only if there are no players inside it besides the one who intends to drive MCV.

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  • 1 month later...

Hm... after having a closer look at Savage Resurrection (http://www.savrez.com/) and Empires Mod (http://www.moddb.com/mods/empires), I wanted to add some thoughts as well.

I now feel a designated/elected commander would be necessary, or most convenient for the mechanics.

(=> Generally, see Battlefield 2/2142 (4?) for commander/squad mechanics)

Taking the RTS (C&C Originals) point of view, let's start with the basics.

Victory condition: eliminate the enemy by destroying everything (not only CY): all buildings and all units.

How can this be achieved?

=> rush with what you got (good luck :P), or

=> Gather, process and store resources / energy, to

=> produce advanced technology and more powerful weapons to attack the enemy

I think this is it in a nutshell...

Hence, all players pursue the same greater goal for their team.

As a side quest it naturally arises to manage and protect your resources and production facilities (find resources and defend and fortify the base)

Startup: MCV and human players (random tier1 classes) spawning nearby, at a random/preset location on the map.

Organization (semi-optional)

Elect a commander via ingame voting. The commander's role is to organize the battle, by giving orders to individual players or squads. He has access to a birds-eye satellite view (needs Communication Center), but his character would be idle and can be killed. If the team is not happy with their commander they can also vote for another Commander.

A commander is thus not necessary to play/win the game, but a good strategic commander can give a tactical advantage to his team.

Also a Commander is the only who can see information e.g. about the total energy supply of the base, and how many credits each player/squad has. He can ask for individuals to transfer credits to squads/players, but never force them (apart from Bots).

Self-organize into Squads/Groups by players them selves, or via invitation by the commander (needs to be accepted by human players, bots would accept any orders/invitations). Every player can create (=> become Squadleader) or join a squad. Each Squad is given a number upon creation. The commander can create a squad by drawing a box around players and pressing CTRL+Num (just in like C&C) or by selecting players from a list, or some other UI-interface. The commander can quick-select squads with the respective number keys to give orders.

Squad leaders can give orders to their squad as a whole (or forward as received from the commander), or more precisely to individual squad members => Micromanagement, Ghost Recon, ArmA Style. They can also invite other players into their squad, and can fill up the places in their squad with AI-bots instead.

The Commander can only give orders to individuals as long as they are not in a squad (tbd?), e.g. AI-Guard-Bots (without Squad) can be positioned individually, but move or attack orders can/will be micromanaged by squad leaders.

The commander could re-organize squads, e.g. if there are too many 1-man squads, or if Squadleaders - given that they have advanced capabilities - are abusing their power.

Re-Spawn: after initial spawn, respawn is only possible in the next Barracks/Hand of Nod.

=> first (intrinsic) objective: build a base and infantry production facility in order to allow respawn and recruit infantry units (AI). Respawn is costless for human players (spawn as Tier1 unit), but buying AI-units requires the same or even more credits (e.g. Tier1 AI-units cost 100).

Commanders and Squadleaders have the ability to give orders to their squads/squadmembers, and to place buildings - to be built/repaired by anyone using repairtools. The commander however is the only one who can disapprove of building placement and sell a building.

This would allow multiple players to decide about building locations (simultaneously) via organized hierarchy, because I think a vote system is simply to messy, especially when voting about arbitrarily different locations.

For example, squad members in squad 1 could discuss (verbally, VoIP, ingame chat) where to place the Powerplant taking outline and natural cover into consideration, while Squad 2 is discussing the ideal rotation for the Refinery. The commander might (or might not) have given the squads the respective orders to place another Powerplant in the north (rough location) and the refinery close to the Tiberium field in the West, while he himself is busy selecting the best location for the Airfield, and then directing his Engineer Minions (recruited from the HoN) to build the placed structure.

As for funds, I agree with Testman, and I also think a designated team-wide building fund would be good, which is primarily* used for building/repairing. Buildings serve in an economic sense as "public goods" to the team, i.e. every player has benefits from an operating and well defended base. Similar to a government taxing individuals' income and using it for infrastructure etc.

This would solve two issues:

1) individual transfers of players who don't want to bother with building the base can be easily handled/avoided, through a request by e.g. the commander to donate to the building fund (simply accept or deny, not obligatory "tax"), or manually type in a command to donate to building funds (in exchange one might get Team-Assist points).

2) the start up situation that I depicted in a post earlier where every player is given tremendous amounts of moneys, just so that all the buildings can be built will be altered as well: instead, every player would start with e.g. only 100 credits, but the team building-funds are 5000 at the beginning, or whatever is enough to build PP, Bar/HoN, and Ref.

*primarily: if the building-funds are "insufficient" the team and in particular the individual player and engineer currently building/repairing a structure is informed via warning message and the repairing stops. However, if he continues to repair his private credit funds are drained.

Also, Tiberium Harvests are not only 500 credits per player but also contribute 500-2000 into the building fund, as if it was a separate player.

These public building funds are ONLY (automatically) drained, when engineers are repairing/constructing buildings. In that sense, nobody has to manage them, yet insuring sufficient funds are important for base expansion, and inefficient of use of building funds for unnecessary buildings can be supervised by the commander.

If the commander sells a structure the remaining money is transferred back to the building funds, and not shared to individuals or only given to the commander.

A public fund for the commander in general is more difficult.

Allowing him to gain similarly additional resources, in order to recruit units that should support the players or to guard the base, might be exploited and the commander could use the moneys for his private equipment instead...

However, guards are also some kind of public good, yet any player could guard the base as well, and his actions are not financed by public funds... and a squadleader has similarly no additional access to funds for buying AI-troops. So I would not give the Commander more private resources than any other player.

Maybe the Commander could simply be given access to the public building funds (when his private credits are insufficient only?), but whenever he makes use of that, the team is informed about that, e.g. "Commander "Name" purchased MRLS (AI) for 500 credits from public building funds." - And if the team feels he is abusing his power, then they can vote for another commander.

Another idea to attach more functions to the buildings and their locations: character classes/weapons (and refill) can only be purchased at PTs in the Barracks/Hand of Nod, Vehicles can only be bought at PTs in the respective facilities, and building blueprints can only be bought at PTs in the CY. Especially the latter would slow down the process of building the base, but avoid a mess where everyone would spam his placements.

On a sidenote, a blueprint could be used multiple times, e.g. to build longer walls or forward outposts with sandbags, establish power supply in the back of the base, build a bunch of silos etc. without going to the CY every time.

Again, the commander is the only one who could buy units/buildings from Top-Down view, once available, giving him more strategic flexibility.

I like the idea of retransforming the CY back to a MCV, but again avoiding the messing around with it, I would only allow Commanders and Squadleaders to ride, deploy/pack an MCV - thus players with more authority and sense of organization.

If you allow for that, then it wouldn't really make a difference if the MCV is mobile in the beginning or placed as CY. If the team or commander is unhappy with the current starting position, they can simply pack the CY to a MCV and drive it to the desired position.

Looking forward to some more discussion :)

For example Tech-level by buildings or research?

Respawn-Tickets?

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I like the way you are thinking. I would play the game with those mechanics that you described.

I am glad we are getting to common grounds :)

However, we still have to discuss some aspects of the concept and get potential flaws out of the way (at least on the drawing board) before we (or anyone else interested) can delve into coding and prototyping.

Unit-Limit?

I would go for a dynamic unit-limit, which can be extended by building relatively cheap* depots (land-vehicles) and outposts (infantry), beyond BAR/HoN (infantry) WF/AirStrip (vehicle) and Helipads (aircraft).

Depot:gdi_depotd7s8z.pnggdi_depot2qbs4e.png Outpost:gdi_outpostn1snu.png gdi_tutorial_base_29qsx0.png

*compared to respective production facilities

A static limit (currently for vehicles) would result in stalemates, because a resource superiority cannot be brought to the enemy gates when the capacities are already filled with high-tech units,

and no-cap on units could result in MOBA-style low-tier unit-spams with potentially performance lags...

In particular a unit limit has to be aligned with a (potential) building limit, otherwise it could become impossible to destroy a wall of Obelisks with a limited amount of units.

Levying an army by gathering resources, and expanding your base/unit capacities is one of the core elements in RTS. And we should give teams the possibility to make quantity/quality tradeoffs: e.g. riflemen rushes with chinooks (à la C&C Generals) would require a lot of space for Barracks/Outposts and some Helipads, whereas Mammooth "rushes" are quite expensive, yet only require some space for vehicle depots/WF and "Silos needed"... ^^

Purchasing AI Units?

When a Squadlead (SL) / Commander (CC) buys AI-vehicles, should they be equipped with a pilot?

Would they have to buy vehicles just like any other (empty) and then buy their pilots separately?

Or are AI-vehicles always manned, but once destroyed no pilot would jump out?

What is the implication for interacting with the vehicles, i.e. human players entering the vehicle => gunner seat? Driver seat?

=> imho, best would be to buy vehicles (empty, like now) and buy AI-infantry separately.

That way we have no problems with current mechanics and how it would interfere with player interaction. For example a very rich SL (or collecting the squad funds as a whole) with 3 other human players in his squad could buy 2 APCs and 6 AI-soldiers. All humans (+1 AI) would enter one APC, all the other AI-squadmembers will be ordered to enter the other APC. The first Bot to enter the 2nd APC becomes the driver, and the Squadleader can give him precise orders where to drive and what to target. Giving the order to disembark to his whole squad would result in all 6 bots leaving both APCs - and the human players would just get the notifaction about this order, they wouldn't be kicked out of course...

I would take inspiration from ArmA for these mechanics.

Maybe it would make sense to introduce a pilot class (similar to these civilian-like units in Tiberium Dawn when you destroy vehicles or buildings), which only has a gun and the personal repair tool and virtually costs nothing. Their only purpose is to man (and maintain) vehicles.

Capture Enemy Buildings?

It is somewhat a must in C&C (RTS) to be able capture enemy buildings to steal resources and/or technology...

But how (if it all) to implement that in Renegade?

The sneaky component of Engineer rushes is already somewhat present by destroying buildings at the MCT with C4. Arguably, this could have replaced the capturing feature entirely...

How about hacking the MCT?

Only Hotwires/Technicians would be allowed to hack an MCT, either by using "alternative firemode" on their repair guns, or by pressing e.g. [E]. They would have to stand still (or forced to freeze) while hacking (similar to calling in airstrikes), which would take as long as charging a superweapon, and would similarly produce alerts and noises. Only 1 can hack at a time.

That way it is very rewarding, because it would be quite difficult to get into the building and survive without defending yourself for 1 minute or so, and yet not too overpowered...

Extending building range?

In C&C Tiberium Dawn it was possible to build sandbags to extend the building range and then place a turret at the enemy's gates. (selling structures in between)

In later iterations you could still do that with Silos or Powerplants.

Should and if yes - how can we prevent that?

1) with the latest concept it is quite time-consuming to construct a building in the first place, i.e. get the blueprints and then repair it until full health. Only then the range would be extended. Maybe this already disincentives this exploit enough?

2) Building range is ONLY determined by distance to the Construction Yard (CY). This would put a lot of value/importance on placing a second MCV somewhere else strategically.

3) Hybrid: CY extends the building range quite far, and other "functional" buildings extend it only by 2-3 blocks, such that outside the range of the CY buildings have to built directly adjacent to one another.

4) Buy/level building range: concrete has to be laid out as a foundation, similar to C&C Tiberian Sun, and buildings can only be placed on such a foundation.

... to be continued and discussed

Uhm, yeah, after final exams I started exploring this little project which was supposed to serve as a Tutorial Mission for GDI (to cover potential features incl. new buildings), and also to test out Building a Base on a 512x512 grid - the size of a (scaled) concrete wall element. I think it could work out quite neat, given that the maps are large enough. Check it out:

gdi_tutorial_base_1m2smc.pnggdi_tutorial_base_3i9s0i.pnggdi_tutorial_base_4peswc.png

Also, I tried to go for a more coherent building style similar to the US Army in "Act of Agression" where every building is fortified by some walls, barriers etc.

08069292-photo-act-of-aggression.jpg

Get them feedbacks coming :cool:

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Love the prefab kits, they should go into some maps regardless.

thanks man, I feel honoured :rolleyes:

In fact, I had the same idea in minds when fiddling around with that - setting up a proper UDK package and turning these bits into "modular-ish" prefabs, but life's busy atm... :P

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  • 3 months later...
On Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 0:51 PM, Testman said:

Looks nice.

Reminds me of Nuclear Dawn.

Still does not look as fun as RenX to me (not enough vehicle combat and setting not sci-fi enough)

Yep, i agree, but its still early work in progress.

Just thought if they can do it (in UE4) - we may as well ;) one day...

I also believe that RenX would be way more awesome with such features. Just take some of the gameplay ideas in orig. Renegade backed up by the C&C universe, such as tiberium harvesting, and you have a great framework.

I was just browsing the web for some more theoretical input on FPS/RTS hybrid games. Found this thread on reddit - funnily started by the developers of the above game.

https://m.reddit.com/r/gamedesign/comments/4ky11e/thoughts_discussion_on_fpsrts_as_a_genre/

Some main takeaways: balance between commander and FPS players is crucial. For example the comm. gives strategically planned orders, which may not be executed by the fps players - therefore you need AI that the commander can control.

On the other hand if the comm. is too overpowered, the teams success might overrely on the performance of the commander.

Especially in public games you need some "checks and balances" - democracy?!

I still believe the Battlefield 2 commander-squad system was brilliant. Whoever wants to be commander, applies for the position and gets approved or rejected by team votes. If the team feels their commander is rubbish, someone else could apply for commander and the team votes again.

But squad leaders could operate on their own, giving orders/way points to their squads.

In a similar way allowing SL to place structures on their own, would reduce the reliance on a commander building up the base.

 

I am still struggling how to treat AI bots - purchasable vs. Player equivalents...

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