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Is a combo FPS/RTS game worth building?

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by DomGruel, May 28, 2020.

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Is a combo FPS/RTS game worth building?

  1. Yes

    15 vote(s)
    57.7%
  2. No

    11 vote(s)
    42.3%
  1. DomGruel

    DomGruel

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    I've always had a passion for FPS/RTS games but haven't seen many successful titles lately. Do people feel like the combination of genres is too much for the general gaming audience? I feel like if it were designed with a simple interface and perhaps scalable RTS complexity for different users it could be super fun.
     
  2. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    Welcome to the forum!

    I'm voting "no". Not because it can't work, but because you're likely biting off more than you can chew (I've been there too, many here have).

    I recommend making a roadmap of a couple games - starting with a ridiculously simple one - that guide you towards that genre goal, building up the foundations that such a game would need along the way. So either start with the simplest RTS or simplest FPS "minimum viable product" that you can think off and finish that. Then make a slightly better one with some added features. That way, if you ever decide to quit, you at least have finished some smaller projects that can stand on their own feet, taught you valuable skills, and can be presented in a portfolio much better than an unfinished "dream game" that you never finished (says the guy with the unfinished "dream game" he never finished and another unfinshed game with depressing amounts of time sunk into it).

    Also check out this one if you haven't already. Maybe you'll like it:
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/302670/Call_to_Arms/


    Depending on what your goals are, consider modding an existing game as an option. Many gamedev careers started that way. Modding isn't necessarily easier, but you might have something playable sooner and can focus on different things.
     
  3. koirat

    koirat

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    Stay away from RTS. Hardest genre to make.
     
  4. DimitriX89

    DimitriX89

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    I'd second that RTSes are hard, plus another reason such projects rarely succeed - how do you balance the game to justify it being both RTS and FPS? If single unit (the player) can make all the difference, why even have an army. Only feasible for something small scale, like mostly FPS with extra options for controlling AI teammates.
     
    Martin_H likes this.
  5. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    What aspects of RTS are you including? I loved C&C Renegade back in the day, but it was more an FPS set in the universe of an RTS.

    I loved Battlefield 2 when it came out, when squad leaders would actually listen to the commander's orders, and squad members would listen to their squad leaders. I had some of the most fun I've ever had in an FPS being the commander in BF2, sending out orders, support drops, dropping artillery to help out squads in trouble, etc. Playing it like an RTS.
     
    SparrowGS likes this.
  6. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    You might like Natural Selection 2 or Squad.
     
  7. infinitegamesDS

    infinitegamesDS

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    We made it possible, still a few tweeks here and there but it works nice! In our survival rts game you can play by possesing units in First Person and then controlling others with orders from the sky, is fun but a rough job to code hehe :]

    PD: Sorry for the quality of the video lol

     
  8. SparrowGS

    SparrowGS

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    Depends entirely on what you wanna do, and how the mechanics compliment each other, i've made a FPS/TD game, or atleast the prototype, actually really fun, i should pick that project back up.

    One good example for stuff like that is the game Toy Soldiers, one of my favs.
     
  9. j4ke

    j4ke

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    Battlezone (1998) is a FPS/RTS game what comes to my mind first. A good game but it seems to be forgotten almost completely these days. Perhaps FPS/RTS is a combination that is not easy to make and it has not much target audience?
     
    Martin_H likes this.
  10. Purely from design standpoint I think it can made to work. Although it is not the same, back, in the end of the 1990-ies, there was a game called Fantasy Empires (by Silicon Knights). (I know, we threw a couple of all-nighters with my room mate in college, while we were learning for classes in the morning we played it together)
    This game was a turn based strategy with a top-down melee combat mashup. Obviously the combat part was optional, it could be turned off.
    Now, it is not the same as I said, but it was incredibly fun. It utilized "heroes" which basically were stronger units and you could have one per army. If you wished, you could control this hero in the combat.
    Obviously nowadays you can implement the same to RTS + FPS combo as well if you find the way to get a "hero" in your army.
     
    SparrowGS likes this.
  11. DimitriX89

    DimitriX89

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    Still, why bother with hero controls if this mode is so optional that it may never be used. Plus we're talking about FPS here, not top-down, which will require coding totally different mechanics for both parts.
     
  12. There are a lot of things in various games which "may never be used". It depends on how you pull it off. In civilization, why they included the attack animations if the player can turn them off? Because there are some, who likes the slower pace and enjoy the view.
     
    SparrowGS likes this.
  13. DimitriX89

    DimitriX89

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    The thread is about RTS/FPS mix being the main selling point of the game, the core mechanic. So the comparsion with animations in turn based game isnt relevant. My point still stands, it is too hard to justify developing a hybrid of those two genres.
     
  14. koirat

    koirat

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    I second that. I do play FPS and RTS games.
    But I do search for totally different experience in them. When I play RTS I focus on thinking. When FPS more on subconscious decision making and reflex.

    For me those experiences are not overlapping. It would be uncomfortable to switch from one to another in a short time.
    So mixing of this genres would just spoil all the fun.
     
    Martin_H likes this.
  15. CityGen3D

    CityGen3D

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    I think combining strategy with first person can be really great fun.

    Whether that be a full on RTS like BattleZone, or a squad based strategy like Hidden and Dangerous.

    Even the first person driving and sniping in a more traditional strategy game like Jurassic Evolution works quite well I think (although it’s fairly superficial).

    It’s just a very difficult thing to get right, but I think gamers are far more open to strategy in first person than they were 10 years ago. (Not everyone is searching for a Doom / Serious Sam experience anymore).
    Battle Royale taking over from Deathmatch as the go to mode of FPS play shows that to some extent.

    Can I imagine a FPS/RTS hybrid having wide appeal and being a big hit now? - most definitely.
    But that doesn’t mean it’s an easy thing to do. I’d encourage it, just because I’d love to see it! :)
     
    infinitegamesDS likes this.
  16. ToshoDaimos

    ToshoDaimos

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    There were games like that and failed. I'm thinking about "Battlezone". There are many problems with this kind of hybrid: complex rendering, complex controls, complex design, complex progression. There is also a problem with mixing audiences. This means that your game will require BOTH much more effort than a straight RTS or FPS AND it will have a limited target market because you need people who like both genres at the same time. In terms of min-maxing it's a terrible idea.
     
    marteko likes this.
  17. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    It's completely relevant. Just because a feature is borderline optional doesn't mean it won't be used. Dungeon Keeper 2 had an FPS-like mode that was had no value thanks to being able to pick up and move your units whenever you wished but was still fun to go into from time to time to see the dungeon from their vantage or to attack the exact unit you wanted to attack even if it killed your unit in the process.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
  18. ToshoDaimos

    ToshoDaimos

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    In Dungeon Keeper the FPS mode was more like a little side "fun mode". The game was largely played in the RTS mode.

    One other problem I instantly see with this kind of hybrid is multiplayer. In an FPS you typically use client-server model while RTS games typically use lockstep P2P model. In an FPS you send state deltas while in an RTS you send only player commands. Just doing multiplayer for this kind of game should be a big technical challenge. There will be also countless problems with rendering because in RTS games cameras limit rendering range and there is "fog of war". Now, try to combine it with FPS rendering. It's possible, but it won't be easy.
     
  19. DimitriX89

    DimitriX89

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    Plus the quality bar for FPS in a year of Dungeon Keeper release was way lower than today. Nowadays you wont get away with a level made of a simple cubes in FPS game.
    Adding FPS mode into RTS would likely require:
    1) Lots of extra graphic assets, since you need to see more detail compared to top down view.
    2) Mechanic and AI adjustments; while in RTS a hit detection often amounts to simple distance check (Starcraft is a good example), in FPS you need shooting to feel fair to the player. Modern shooters as well make enemies "intelligently suicidal" (for the lack of a better word) to give player the chance against superior numbers. Quite the opposite of efficiency that is expected of RTS unit.
    3) Different character controls and physics.
    I think this requires too much work to be a merely toggleable option. And if you make AI and physics in RTS mode match FPS standards, it will impact performance heavily. Again, I only see this viable as a small scale "FPS first" experience, where the perspective is not changing during the game, and player has a limited capability to build structures and command AI bots. Something like this
    only in first person perspective and with small enough number of troops that they cant do all the work for the player.
     
  20. Not_Sure

    Not_Sure

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    "This plus that" games are always a great starting point.

    Just make sure to get a working prototype that's fun to use.

    Mario is fun to move around even if you're not doing anything.
     
  21. MiladZarour

    MiladZarour

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    Did you played UrbanAssault 1999 ?
    that game was really good , it was so nice to build a whole about 50 tanks , and move them using the map towards enemy, and then just double click on whatever unit on the map , and YOU HAVE CONTROL
    I believe it is worth it to create a game like this since there are not such a game like that
     
    c-Row likes this.
  22. starikcetin

    starikcetin

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    Look up Executive Assault on Steam. An interesting take on the FPS/RTS combo.
     
    DimitriX89 likes this.
  23. xadd

    xadd

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    In my opinion, it's possible but very tedious to make as well as maintain. I would start simple and focus mainly on the FPS first, since you will need to control the character. Think about a base game where you're in first person, and you can execute commands to tell what your troops should do.
     
  24. c-Row

    c-Row

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    Urban Assault was ok but Uprising was the best RTS/FPS hybrid in my opinion, and I would working on a remake right now if I had the skills. :p
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2023
  25. Quackster101

    Quackster101

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    fps + rts can be fun but a mess in want, look or gameplay feel and a bit niche, it really depends on what you want and if that will make it much harder. more of an FPS? more RTS focused? PvP or PvE? coop? fps always have a lot of cons if doing an AoE/starcraft like RTS. And that one either get stuck more in the FPS part or the RTS part. or becoming TBS (turn-based, full or semi?)

    Couple issues, commanding (you or others/AI), building, resources, what upgrades and damage scaling, overview or "map control feeling" to the player.

    A lot of PvP FPS/RTS games have a commander, but brings up more issues like having someone who can play that role, some become more like a "base builder", horde/survival, mostly combat and very few with strategy in the round.

    stated games: natural selection 2 or other similar games like it. BF2 nearly had something of an RTS mode.
    different but can be close to a mix of both, mount and blade, tooth and tail, (MOBA) smite, (TD) sanctum 2, planetside 2 (more FPS), Arma could be made into one with editor/mods now looking at Silica, counterstrike being more on the FPS competitive strategy due to location + gun/equipment use than other "command strategy" games and maybe not as much like that kind of RTS.
     
  26. MikeB_SG

    MikeB_SG

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    The game Savage: Battle for Newerth worked.

    Two teams. One person on each team is RTS/Commander. Everyone else is an FPS player. Approx five worker minions spawn per team.

    Goals at the beginning. The RTS/Commander group-selects minions & players to build and gather resources. As an FPS player it's optional whether you do this or not. You receive directions and way-points.

    FPS players can see further than the fog-of-war shows for the RTS/Commander, but it does work like a proper RTS.

    Goals as an RTS/Commander. Use the worker minions/players to gather resources. Build structures (minion spawner/upgrade, player upgrade, base defence upgrade...).

    Goals as an FPS player. Help the RTS/Commander upgrade the base faster. Upgrade your own skill points/experience so you can use the upgrades.

    Balance: FPS players can't rush the other base due to auto turrets/base defence. Seige weapons (more damage to buildings/defence turrets) are slow and work poorly against players. PvP weapons work poorly against buildings. Late game weapons work against everything to break a stalemate. Each time you die as an FPS player, you choose a class to spawn as (depending on building upgrades): seige, basic player, strong player, hero player.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2023
    starikcetin likes this.
  27. CassClay

    CassClay

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    CCP tried once to make such a thing by combining Eve Online with Valkyrie and it flopped badly. We're not yet at the multiverse level, but pioneering is a good thing. It's just you're going to mix and match 2 different genres. FPS games tend to bet on reaction, while RTS games on strategy and tacktic. Two different kind of people are playing such games.
     
  28. MikeB_SG

    MikeB_SG

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    It's not for elitist RTS and FPS players. They'll get in the way of each other.

    It's more of a long game.

    Lethal Company is extremely popular right now and has an "overwatch" component that works. FPS players can have doors opened for them, turrets/mines disabled. The "overwatch"/RTS component is an FPS player that walks up to a computer to operate a top-down GPS style view. The game is not elitist but it is short and action packed.