Can RTS work on a console?

EA is planning to put Battle for Middle Earth II on the XBOX 360. What do people think? Will it be fun?

They can work on a console with the Revolution controller. I’m not sure what’s the point of putting an RTS on a console with a standard controller, though. The IGN article claims the 360 interface is good but I’ll note you still have to use an analogue stick to move a cursor around the map. That’s always cumbersome compared to a variable-speed pointing device.

I’d think that would be exhausting, considering the amount of movement you do with the mouse.

The question isn’t whether an RTS can work on a console; of course it can. It just won’t be the exact same control scheme you see on PCs.

I’ve always wondered why there haven’t been more custom interface devices for consoles. It’s surprising that there aren’t, say, trackball devices out there. There used to be, and I think there were a few wacky devices made for the PS2, but few if any were ever supported by developers.

RTS was born on a console. They can work fine if they don’t stick to the Warcraft/C&C mold.

What do you mean RTS was born on a console?

The only way they can work is a really good controller (which the standard ones are not) and/or a really dumbed down easy interface.

This is the wrong way to look at it. It doesn’t have to be dumbed down–it has to be different. It may not make it an RTS in the classic sense, but it may provide much of the same appeal.

Herzog Zwei.


Examples: Phantom Dust, Sacrifice.

At this point, Id like to link to another game which was the first RTS and its just a screen shot of a giant pixel.

Ok let me clarify… You can not have RTS like you do on PCs on a console. Until you come up with a really good RTS controller, which IMHO must have some kind of mouse like interface for rapid and accurate selecting, you will never have the PC experience of epic battles where you coordiante huge armies and build complex systems of defenses. Asside from the mouse, how about the keyboard? I can’t imagine a game without teams Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta (and sometimes Epsilon and Zeta too). Super weapons are team zero (if we have them), factories are on team 9.

Yes you can design an RTS around those limits, but they will just be differant like RPGs born on consoles are differant the RPGs born on PCs.

As a game developer, you always want your game to work with the system’s default controller, unless you’re creating a custom controller specifically for your game (e.g., Guitar Hero). Because if you require gamers to buy separate controllers to play your game, you’ve just shrunk your potential audience: not everyone is going to be willing to shell out extra money to play your game. Even light-gun games typically let you aim with a gamepad as well.

Same reason PC games start with a mouse & keyboard interface first, then include support for other peripherals: because developers know everyone has a mouse (or other pointing device) and keyboard, but anything else is optional.

As for the general question of RTS games on consoles, they can and already have been done: random examples just from the last generation include Kessen, Goblin Commander, and Kingdom Under Fire. They just don’t play the same way they typically do on PCs. Different controllers necessitate different interfaces.

Hotkeys are shithoused on a console. A PC RTS without hotkeys is something I don’t want to experience. I need a wide array of commands that are “one button press” simple. A gamepad has like less than 10 buttons.

Imagine a Battlezone game on console, RTS + FPS…

And if you do that, you loose something for it. You loose percision and its hard to adjust tactics on the fly, but gain simplicity.

You learn to depend on it. For me, trying to use a controller and guide a large army would be like trying to playing a piano with oven mitts on.

How do you do things like send army one to the left side in to fent an attack, then send the main army into the right side, and then quickly call in some air power for a few well placed surgicle strikes?

Yea, but BZ you really only controll one unit. You can direct a few others, but its very limited. It would work great on a console, but its not really a PC class RTS game.

People shouldn’t try to translate a current PC interface to a console RTS, and you shouldn’t think that’s what people would be doing. In this mythical future console RTS, there’d be no need for hotkeys because the interface would work completely differently.

You mean like The Outfit, which just came out on 360?

People gotta stay more tuned in.

I know all that. Doesn’t mean there can’t be specialized controllers as well.