Real-Time Strategy all purpose discussion thread


Act of Aggression is the C&C remake no one has been waiting for.


It sounds like someone in this thread was.

Which will be the better C&C remake? Act of aggression or reconquest?!?


I absolutely love Age of Empires 2. Many happy moments playing it:) If they were to make an Age of Empires 4 with the same gameplay but modern graphics, it would be amazing.


Oh my god, thank you. I was just looking at that gif and thinking ‘Every time I see this I want to know where it’s from.’ Big up, Telefrog.


No way, that’s impossible.


I’m having fun with Particle Fleet, from the creator of Creeper World 3.


I enjoyed Particle Fleet although it was never really challenging which is similar to Creeper World 3. However once I finished the main campaign, I tried the bonus missions. I could not get past the very first one because the game cheats.

Basically there are these red particle emitters on the far right of the playfield, and I would get a bunch of ships near them including the blue stuff and it seemed like I had it totally locked down. So then I bring in the ships that can actually destroy it and suddenly the emitter starts pumping out 20x as much stuff which I can’t handle and my ships get destroyed.

I tried this a few times but eventually gave up on it.


Heh. I stand by Act of Aggression! It is (or was? already) the best traditional RTS / Command and Conquer style game in years. Even the factions were awesome (imo). A campaign full of cheese, which for the subject matter, was probably appropriate. But most of all the interplay between units was well done.


One of the broader issues game developers are running into (certainly Firaxis is now running into it with Civ VI and we ran into it with Ashes of the Singularity) is that nowadays, your “new” game is competing against every game that has ever been made.

In the good old days of 2010, my game only had to compete against the 38 other SCUs on Walmart’s shelf. That was the entire market.

Now, my $59.99 “new” game has to justify itself against fully realized (but “old”) games from two years ago that are now going for $15 on Steam sales.

When Ashes of the Singularity came out, it was a $49.99 game. And many players who bought it would say “I like it…but…I got Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance for $10”

Being able to say “Yea, but we support more units and higher resolutions and blah blah” is a tough cell if you’re asking for, in effect, a $40 premium.

When Sins of a Solar Empire shipped, it only cost $800,000 to make. So obviously it didn’t have a huge amount of content or polish yet (see Tom’s “Sins of Sins of a Solar Empire”). But it didn’t matter because if you wanted to play a space RTS, it was, literally, the only game in town.

Since Sins came out, there have been other space RTS games that have struggled. Not because they were terrible but because, at the end of the day, you can get Sins of a Solar Empire inexpensively.

This is an issue that isn’t specific to the RTS market (look at the Steam user reviews for Civ VI – it has to compete with a fully matured Civ V that is half the price). But it affects RTS games strongly since they tend to age better.


I don’t think that toothpaste is going back in the tube.


It’s not the price. FA is 5x the fun that Ashes is.


You were supposed to make a sins 2 or a medieval sins Brad!


I think he made a reasonable argument, the market conditions changed, now it’s tougher. Although your statement is also true (they are not contradictory), one game is more fun than the other.


That’s not going to get any better, and it’s going to affect more than RTS games real soon, I mean, the latest FPS might be awesome and all, but unless it does something new, Crysis is nearly 10 years old, and it already had pretty good graphics.

Speaking for myself, haven’t bought Ashes, didn’t do anything “new”, more units isn’t going to make me buy it, since FA already allowed for more than I can manage. Didn’t change the game in any way that I could see to allow me to compete with younger, more dedicated humans, so MP is out, SP was meh, so…

OTOH, I did buy Offworld trading company…


Yeah, this is and will be the market from now on.

Films are still a protected market (at least theatrical releases) but books have been facing the same issues for a while now, and they managed to keep going.

I think it’s all going to boil down to live online games (there will always be a limited number of those with high player bases) and a new focus on marketing for SP or small MP experiences, and by that I don’t mean spending more money in traditional marketing, or even using the current press that does nothing to drive sales, but that we as an industry will have to shift marketing priorities so we stop selling features or graphics and start to focus more on specific experiences that are harder to substitute.

Working on established genres without tens of millions in your budget to make an impact is not going to cut it anymore, I think.


I think there’s still a market for features, but in a gameplay sense, not in a technical sense. Nobody cares about your great technical achievement, nobody who’s not a programmer. A new gameplay feature though, gamers might care about.


I’m getting mixed messages here :-) Wasn’t your other post from yesterday about how Ashes was much more successful than you expected?

But in general I agree that just another retread of the standard RTS formula is a hard sell to me. Offworld Trading Company did a very good job of finding a totally new niche and executing well on it. There must be other forms of RTS with no good modern implementations. Like where is the remake or spiritual successor of Rails Across America?


I think the big problem is not that you need a giant budget to make a new game, but the fact that many new games aren’t really new. Something that is simply different isn’t good enough, it has to actually do something new. If a new space based RTS came out that a sufficient number of genuinely new game mechanics, then it would not have to compete with Sins.

As an example, look at all the minecraft clones that are in EA on steam. You can hardly tell them apart. Basically the developers of those game need to ask themselves this question, “What can someone get out of my game that they can’t get out of modded minecraft?” In most cases, the answer is nothing.

My point is, if you make a game with genuinely new game mechanics, then you have little to fear from competition from games from the past.


On the other hand, there’s a market for Minecraft clones that just isn’t there for RTS. It’s maybe tailed off a little recently, but for a good two years every random survival crafter on Steam, most of which I’d never heard of, was getting several hundred thousand in sales. You have to stand out as an RTS to make those numbers, whereas you just had to be a survival crafting game and it was almost guaranteed.


That makes me so sad.