Adaptive AI Engine for RTS Games

Discussing the theory and practice

How to Develop Strategy Games

Posted by Ogail on June 26, 2009

How to Develop Strategy Games

Article source: Strategy Game Programming with DirectX 9.0

  • Choose your game story theme:
    • Science Fiction الخيال العلمي
    • Medieval: العصور الوسطى
    • Western: الغرب
    • Post-apocalyptic: بعد دمار الأرض
  • Story elements:
    • The plot
      • This gives game depth and meaning
      • Gives back group information about the game
      • NOD example
      • Plot defines series of events that lead to the purpose of the game
      • Plot could be based on: war, deception or finance
    • The purpose
      • Gives the player reason for winning the game
  • Setting Objectives:
    • Real tasks that the player should do to win the game
  • Notes:
    • Always add milestone goals
    • Always remember balance is the key
    • Make cost of anything mixture between many resources, this will make player not concentrating on a specific resource
  • Empire Earth Goals Flow Chart:

  • Unit Characteristics:
    • Cost
      • Make balance between cost and strength
    • Unit Speed:
      • Many games make speed relative to armor/power
      • Think about new ideas like considering the environment in your calculations
      • Calculating Unit Speed:
        • Make a basic system from 1 to 100, 1 being slowest 100 fastest
    • Unit Armor:
      • Referring to defensive value of a unit.
      • Calculating defensive value:
        • Problems is you want certain types of armor to react differently to various weapons
        • Create a table:

  • To calculate damaged effected: inflicted x armor rating = points defected to armor
  • Hit points:
    • Each unit should have a hit points that after consuming them the unit is destroyed
  • Unit Firepower
    • Take into consideration:
      • Rate of fire
        • More powerful weapon, the slower it fires
        • To calculate it you should determine how many times/minutes a weapon can fire
      • Damage type
        • Imagine many damage types (fire-based, projectile-based…)
      • Special damage
        • Like when Nuclear Missile is Lunched there is a dirty that kills people after it
      • Velocity
        • The leaser beam is faster than projectile because its as speed of the light
        • Calculating projectile velocity:
          • Like the unit speed, but a standard system that 1->100
  • Resource Management:
    • Pick Your Poison:
      • List the goals that the player should satisfy via resources:
        • Feed the population
        • Build an infrastructure
        • Raise an army
      • Define resources:
        • That will satisfy each of the previous goals
      • Gathering resources (Constraints to Gather Them):
        • Could be manually or automatic
        • If automatic you should ask the question: How does the player build building?
        • While you define resource try to define goal with it (like fisherman near sea)
      • Determine Gathering Rate
    • Resource Balance:
      • TA example (only 2 resources in any portion of the map)
      • Balanced example (grow rate/carrier)
  • RTS Technology Trees:
    • Design technology example:

  • Different Types of Technology Trees:
    • Infrastructure
      • Deals with buildings
      • Without it the player can’t progress to bigger and better things
    • Weapons (and let loose the dogs of war)
      • If the tree is complicated then the player has no clue what the weapons mean!
    • Upgrades
      • Upgrading infrastructure and units with paths
  • Keys is choosing cost of technology:
    • Be sure the technology takes time to research. The more valuable the technology is, the longer it should take to invent
    • Be sure the technology requires resources that pertain to it. In other words, do not make a technology require a resource that has nothing to do with it
    • Be sure the technology costs a reasonable amount. If the technology is very valuable, it should cost a good deal of resources. Do not go overboard, though. If the technology costs more resources than it is going to save, it is worthless.
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One Response to “How to Develop Strategy Games”

  1. Causstem said

    Nice article dude! loving reading from ya.

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