Question Can real-time strategy come back from the brink of death?

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Jan 19, 2020
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I'd be excited to see a virtual reality implementation of command and conquer. We are the commander from a remote location, after all. Give me a top down view of the battle field that I can use my hands to pick and drop buildings from a circular menu around my view, like seeingfrom a satellite; and use gestures to zoom and rotate the overall view.
 
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Jan 19, 2020
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The game was called Shattered Galaxy. I played the beta over two decades ago. It was a game that came out way ahead of its time. It has long since died out due to the neglegence from the company that owned the rights. It's a game probably no one has asked for but one that is know needed. This game play style has never been done before but has always just been there and you had to of stumble across it by happenstance. You all need to just see it for yourself. Still free to play. It can change the gaming landscape.
 
Jan 19, 2020
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I literally made an account here just to mention Shattered Galaxy. I'm glad it's already been brought up. I used to lead one of the largest regiments... Long ago. I was in freaking middle school at the time. But as was mentioned, it's mostly dead now. Surprisingly, there's still a small contingent of players and the servers are still up, but it's long been abandoned by the developer.

The only comparable game since it has been End of Nations (developed by Trion, creators of most notably Rift, ArcheAge, and Defiance), which during early development was nearly identical to Shattered Galaxy's gameplay, with an obviously much needed refresher. I had super high hopes for the game, because i get the itch to play Shattered Galaxy at least a few times a year but can never find another MMORTS, and it was nice to see an already successful publisher make an attempt at it. Then somewhere in development they added heroes. And then a little later they just flat out turned it into a MOBA. And then development was cancelled.

Only other games that even remotely seemed similar were all closer to MOBAs or "arena battlers", like AirMech or Dropzone. Both of which were really only somewhat similar, and both of which are basically dead... There's also Supernova (which i also had high hopes for because it was to be published by Bandai Namco), which technically you can still play because they released the unfinished game for free, but at that point i may as well go play Shattered Galaxy.

All this to say... I've been looking for a new MMORTS for literally the last 15 years. I love traditional RTS games too, grew up on Age of Empires (and of course SC2 was incredible and i'm hyped for AoE4), but nothing has compared to Shattered Galaxy in my opinion. It was an incredible game with such a high level of replayability, if they hadn't abandoned it I would likely still be playing it today. I hope that some day we can see a major developer/publisher successfully recreate the experience of an MMORTS...
 
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Jan 19, 2020
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I just wanted to add a few more things about Shattered Galaxy.

Shattered Galaxy is the Blueprint that all other RTS style games can benifiet from.

It was a custom game from Warcraft3 that led to the boom that became MOBA. Dota2 and LOL.

It was a gameplay style known as Battle Royale in Arma 3 that led to all the BR's that we no today. (Correct me if I'm wrong that it was Arma 3 who did it first).

It was when I played Spiderman on the PS2 that gave me that first feeling of Open World Concept and again with GTA and GTA vice city. You can know find this Open World Concept in a lot of major games.

This is what Shattered Galaxy is. It is a building block all RTS style games can use to come up with a new way to play strategy games. It's just been off the Radar all this time. You won't find it on Steam. And you won't find any Streamer past or present ever hearing about it let alone ever playing it.

Can real time strategy games come back from the brink of death? Yes, all they got to do is change game.
 
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Jan 19, 2020
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Personally, I don't need a game beyond Age of Empires 2. The new DE version still needs some work, but it'll get there I think. I know I'm in the extreme edge case, but I've been playing that game for more than 10 yrs and I'm happy to keep doing so into the future. Minor changes, including balance, and AOE2 is a game I can play forever. Even other RTS games (like SC2) just don't interest me.
 
Jan 19, 2020
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I just wanted to add a few more things about Shattered Galaxy.

Shattered Galaxy is the Blueprint that all other RTS style games can benifiet from.

It was a custom game from Warcraft3 that led to the boom that became MOBA. Dota2 and LOL.

It was a gameplay style known as Battle Royale in Arma 3 that led to all the BR's that we no today. (Correct me if I'm wrong that it was Arma 3 who did it first).

It was when I played Spiderman on the PS2 that gave me that first feeling of Open World Concept and again with GTA and GTA vice city. You can know find this Open World Concept in a lot of major games.

This is what Shattered Galaxy is. It is a building block all RTS style games can use to come up with a new way to play strategy games. It's just been off the Radar all this time. You won't find it on Steam. And you won't find any Streamer past or present ever hearing about it let alone ever playing it.

Can real time strategy games come back from the brink of death? Yes, all they got to do is change game.
Man for sure. I've said before on Reddit that someone should buy out the rights to Shattered Galaxy and release a Shattered Galaxy 2. There's so much stuff in that game they left unfinished, and so many ways they could even continue to build on what they started.

Like... I want to see someone buy the rights to SG, then do what so many other companies are doing right now and revive this game. I mean really... Nexon already did it with Maple Story 2. DAoC is getting Camelot Unchained. Ultima Online is getting Legends of Aria. Runescape has a mobile app now. Warcraft 3 got remastered, Age of Empires is getting AoE4, the list goes on...

I don't see why Nexon doesn't follow suite with Shattered Galaxy too. Though, I probably wouldn't want to see them do it- like i said, i'd rather they sell the rights and a decent company take over...

Ideally: I'd want to see Shattered Galaxy graphically overhauled, and fine tuned. I.e. Reincarnation was always clunky. The political aspect to the game was underutilized due to minimal incentives. Alien Caves were kind of dumb and useless. Only two planets were ever completed and one of those planets is the starting zone. They had a number of unused resources. The faction with the most people online had a pretty strong advantage. Etc. Then, i'd love to see the publisher market the hell out of the game, and actually produce updates.

There's so much room for expansion in this game in the form of new planets, maps, additional objectives, new game types, etc. You could even add a better open world aspect to it and draw on elements from games like UO... maybe regiments could build structures that would be destructible in battle, generate passive income by holding key territories, research massive faction-wide upgrades that take days or even weeks but require your faction to hold the center territory on the map for the duration, etc. And if they're worried about how they can monetize it, subscription services are perfectly fine, and there are plenty of ways to add skins and such for micro-transactions without making the game pay2win.

Like really, this could be an incredible game. Instead it's sitting dead and outdated. Someone should do something about it, and right now seems like a great time to do it.
 

MindlessMe

Registered Developer
Jan 8, 2020
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I don't think RTS has come anywhere near the brink of death. In all the years I've been playing PC games I've never had to worry about whether a new and interesting RTS game was on the horizon.
 
Jan 19, 2020
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I really feel like RTS as currently designed has a fundamental problem with the disconnect between what most players want to do (have big cool battles with armies they built) vs what the game often demands you do to play optimally (the frantic hotkey dance, mostly ignoring the actual friggin battles).

RTS died as a mainstream genre when the concept of APM became widely understood, and this killed it as a simple form of entertainment. Playing StarCraft 'right' is not actually fun for the majority of people, but if you don't play it 'right' you're stuck doing skirmishes vs the easy AI.

The experience needs to allow for a wider range of playstyles. Perhaps a granular AI assist feature where players can choose to be more micro or macro focused, depending on what's fun for them, and let an AI counterpart do the heavy lifting when it comes to APM. For pro gamers who love mashing hotkeys, the AI assist should be something you can disable.

RTS can't grow as a thing if most people try to pick it up and immediately slam into a brick wall of APM accessibility.
I agree, and I think this has been worse in indie RTS over the past few years. Quite a few games have focused on competitive 1v1 at the expense of singleplayer. They try to make a balanced game and end up with bland units. I can see why they would do this, it takes a lot of work to make good AI opponents or a lengthy campaign. It also seems like multiplayer communities, if they get going, are better at extending the life of a game compared to mostly isolated people playing singleplayer.

That isn't to say that there are no games. They Are Billions demonstrated that a lot of people want to play singleplayer. Loria provides a nice singleplayer experience. I have not tried Spellforce 3 (except for the beta) or Northgard, but they seem to be focused more on singleplayer.

Recent advances in AI could be one of the things that zaps some life back into the genre. Imagine if you could cheaply train an agent on every iteration. Designers would be free to make crazy unit designs without placing so much of a burden on their ability to balance it. Imagine powerful skirmish AIs that did not reveal themselves to be fragile and exploitable, that respond to every creative plan a player can come up with. What if in a decade we are commanding armies with our voices? That would really shake up the hold of APM on RTS.

I'm also a big fan of unit automation. Unit AI has a reputation for getting in the way of what players want to do, but with good automation it could allow for more control. This is what I tried with Zero-K (of which I am a developer). I am also optimistic about NeuroSlicers as it's design is reevaluating how to control and interact with these games.
 

spvtnik1

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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The brink of death? Let it be known that in the third season after the death of RTS, Blizzard Inc. will resurrect the genre with a compelling new Starcraft entry. Because we all know it's coming eventually. I'm sure they are trying to figure out how to transfer the wild esports success of Overwatch over to their other IPs. Note I didn't say SC:3, because by the time this happens, the technology will have changed so much that all our favorite franchises will be putting the VR tag, or MM tag, or some other tag we haven't even thought of yet, after their titles.

I think the future of RTS is going to be more of a Natural Selection type of vibe, where individuals are playing the grunts and handling combat and construction, and you have a battlefield commander handling things like interpreting intelligence and directing forces appropriately.
 
Jan 17, 2020
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I really feel like RTS as currently designed has a fundamental problem with the disconnect between what most players want to do (have big cool battles with armies they built) vs what the game often demands you do to play optimally (the frantic hotkey dance, mostly ignoring the actual friggin battles).

RTS died as a mainstream genre when the concept of APM became widely understood, and this killed it as a simple form of entertainment. Playing StarCraft 'right' is not actually fun for the majority of people, but if you don't play it 'right' you're stuck doing skirmishes vs the easy AI.

The experience needs to allow for a wider range of playstyles. Perhaps a granular AI assist feature where players can choose to be more micro or macro focused, depending on what's fun for them, and let an AI counterpart do the heavy lifting when it comes to APM. For pro gamers who love mashing hotkeys, the AI assist should be something you can disable.
I agree with a lot of this. But one solution to this is to have ranked play. With enough players in a big enough range of skills, people can play against others that have similar rank/skill/APM/whatever and have a lot of fun! You win some and you lose some. I know Age of Empires has done this by either displaying a player's rank and/or allowing for quick matching that starts a game with another player(s) matched by an unknown method (at least in Age of Empires 3 and Online, I think Mythology also). I remember that worked well for Age of Empires 3 to some degree because players in a lobby could determine if they had a competitive game before starting and investing the time. But then there are fakers who would appear to be one rank but definitely played with the skill of another rank. If a lot more care is put into that, then it could be a really good solution. And I think it is warranted to have a successful game and as you say grow the genre.
 
Jan 17, 2020
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Can we get a matchmaking thread for multiplayer RTS games? For example I want to play C&C on OpenRA but there's no one in my region at my skill level.
 
Feb 2, 2020
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dlsud.academia.edu
What caused my interest in RTS back then was the concept of being a strategist (or a tactician) for the grand scheme of things, followed by the content of the game's campaign (if there is one). Singleplayer content was the go-to thing for me, whilst multiplayer was fun with friends.

The formula to design a RTS game is there, and it doesn't necessarily have to be complex (see: Tooth and Tail) - as long as it is fun for the player. Garnering a larger audience is a different subject-matter altogether, in my opinion.

I agree with one of the posters here that when the concept of APM became more well-known, it scares some people off for that rush of casual competitive play; from all-encompassing strategies such as "Turtling" and "Fast-Aggressiveness" to "How quickly can you build your first barracks?".

Nowadays the only strategy game that I play is Stellaris in Singleplayer.
 

Apollo

King Kong
Jan 13, 2020
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We've already got some discussion on the state of the RTS or what games deserve a comeback here on the forums, so I decided to try and find a solution to the grim state of affairs the genre finds itself in. I did not. But maybe you lot have some ideas?


Tell me how we can rescue this quintessential PC genre!
We can. And in fact, we already have (imo) with Faster Than Light and Into the Breach. Maybe not total RTS, but they're pretty close I'd say, plenty of people love them. So I think more RTS games need to follow suit. Not copy, but at least take ideas and not fall apart like a certain game from a studio named after a winter snow storm.
 
Feb 6, 2020
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I like RTS games, but dislike that it generally comes down to a hotkey race. Also, it seems as though very few RTS games in pvp mode are actually played as intended, and instead become the exploitation of buildings and units that don't normally serve such purposes. Also, there seems to be one specific tactic for each game, that all players must adopt, or simply accept defeat.
 
Feb 10, 2020
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I'm of the mind that starcraft is basically the pinnacle of the genre. All of the games that tried to show the game down, reduce reliance on apm or basebuilding or micro just make it more frustrating. Rts has always been needing to split my brain between 3 different simultaneous functions and trying to tax the opponents attention to get an advantage. It's a fast, very pure genre, much like fighting games, and we as fans should embrace that instead of trying to dilute the experience.
Starcraft is probably my favorite. I love it despite the fact I'm horrible at it. I've heard people complain about this style of rts, mainly about the base building, but I liked it because it added another layer to the game.
 
Apr 21, 2020
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I like a game with starcraft mechanics with Master of Orion research scale and have ships that has super powerful ships/battleships, and starbase (as powerful as death star) that will be great game. What you guys think?
 
May 3, 2020
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I am still anxiously waiting for a game that can pick up and improve the best rts game ever made. Company of Heroes.
 
Oct 17, 2020
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With de recent news of not new material for StarCraft 2, I think de will be seeing StarCraft 3 in a couple of years
 

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