Monday, July 24, 2006

Time: the ultimate RTS resource

Do you know the greatest reason that most people lose at RTS? I don't mean on a professional scale, I mean among the proletariat ranks of newcomers. It's time. Either they do roughly the same thing, only more slowly, as their opponent, or they can't control their units quickly enough in the heat of battle, or they can't spend all of their income before they are defeated.

It comes as little surprise; when Civilization feels a little like Chess, people play real-time strategy for the action. Still, wouldn't it be interesting to see a RTS where micro-management speed has little value? It's been tried, of course, generally by taking control of the battlefield away and leaving the player with the clerical work of the production... hardly engaging for most people.

In the end, I think stances and formations are the key. In mainstream RTS, stances and formations have never failed, not once, to only increase the complexity of micro-management. What if you were to add that layer, then strip away the norms? Could it work?



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