The Survey

bluuurrrr
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The Survey

Postby bluuurrrr » Tue 19 May 2015 21:03

A few things I noticed in the survey.

Lots of questions directed on some of the obvious things we mention here which is a good sign. The zoom for example.

I noticed some questions related to pace - and I'm glad to see that because the game plays way to slow if you want to draw in new players. Some may like the slow pace - but those games tend to be dead end niche games when it's all said and done. The two RTS powerhouses that you should try to emulate play at a far quicker pace. AoA has that opportunity to break through to those legendary franchises but it must make a hard turn into the type of fast paced RTS offered by the CNC or Starcraft series. It's time to realize this is a game, not a 3 day simulation of war. Slim down in all areas - resourcing, units, buildings... make the game sleek and fast, easy to play and hard to master is the key (as oompah has said on here).

The questions that throw me for the loop were whether the game innovated enough as an RTS and whether the game is up to the standards of an RTS game in 2015. "Innovating" for the sake of innovating is the great trap. You can not change the successful formula and expect to be successful. I've seen good RTS games that implemented air units, sea units - but these are minor changes to the formula. You need players - and you need to find a way to attract and more importantly keep non traditional RTS players to bring them back to the RTS tent. Scaring them away with complicated "realism innovations" turns the game into a black hole eventually. I didn't know what the answer to these because I hardly ever see any "innovation" that is good for an RTS game. Too many developers who really don't seem to know what makes an RTS actually fun to play often find ways of introducing show stoppers that quickly scare away new players. For that reason - I don't like either of these questions.

If it was up to me - I'd do away with the mutliple resources. Keep it simple - call the one resource money and be done with it. It makes it very easy for new players to pick up and understand. "You need money to build things - you get money by resourcing oil" is far easier to explain than "Well you need to resource oil and aluminum, but when you build things, you have to have a mix of both, and then later you need rare metals". It's uneeded complication. I'd also pick up the pace of the game in all areas. Building times, speed of units, speed of resourcing. I'd combine this with a shrinking of the maps and streamlining the tier 1,2,3 units. That may mean combinbing buildings, keeping it simple as possible.

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Re: The Survey

Postby DarcReaver » Tue 19 May 2015 21:23

The pace of the game is fine overall, it's just that the resource system is a bit overcomplicated with the network system in place, and units dying too fast in general. Also, I think lowering vehicle speeds slightly and making infantry a tiny bit faster will allow for a better combat flow.

There need to be more options to fight and micro properly, instead of having some hit & run with mortars against bases early on and then teching up to superweapons.

If you make combat units more efficient and easier to use the game will become way more accessible. There needs to be more room for error and less cheesy tactics. Cheese should be still possible, but come with more risks.

The resource system is very interesting, and I liked it overall. Having to manage an economy + armies is something that has been a core concept in RTS for years, be it Age of Empires, RoN, Company of Heroes (although in a pretty abstract way) and wc3. I have never been a huge fan of having 0 economy management in many games. Even if that shifts more focus on combat - because the units die so fast managing eco and armies is pretty difficult to do right now. Like I said before, I think that this is a result of units being slow on response and pretty inefficient at combating.

It's just that it's pretty hard to respond to raids in the current build, which makes cheesy raids too strong. If armies are more mobile the whole "protect your convois" concept becomes more interesting.

If you take wc3 as an example: your econ could be harassed, but there were multiple options to counter harassment (buildorder, town portals to get your army back in your base, and teleport items which allowed your heroes to return to your base). In case some dev reads this: guys, please go ahead and watch some youtube videos from the games I mentioned - it won't take much time and it's definately worth it. I don't say "make the game like CnC Generals" or any other RTS, and I also don't say you should make your armies in AoA able to teleport or something weird. But I think it's worth to check how other people designed their gameplay, and maybe you get some ideas.

The key things I think you should look at:

- micro options during fights (especially true for Company of Heroes and wc3)
- economy management/protection against harassment (Age of Empires, Rise of Nations)
- unit speedings and teching speed
Last edited by DarcReaver on Tue 19 May 2015 21:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Survey

Postby bluuurrrr » Tue 19 May 2015 21:28

Speed and pace might be an easy fix if the maps are smaller, in that case I would agree that maybe the pace would be sufficient.

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Re: The Survey

Postby DarcReaver » Tue 19 May 2015 21:49

bluuurrrr wrote:Speed and pace might be an easy fix if the maps are smaller, in that case I would agree that maybe the pace would be sufficient.


Nah, the problem persists that fights are over too fast, and it's too easy to raid economy buildings with cheese raids. The game, from what I've seen, is about protecting your supply routes. Right now the game is about protecting your initial refineries and then teching up to super weapons/t2-t3 units.

It's more important that the fights take more time and the economy buildings are harder to harass. Armies are too inflexible to protect your economy right now.

The map size doesn't change this problem so much imo.
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Re: The Survey

Postby bluuurrrr » Tue 19 May 2015 21:53

True, I don't doubt there needs to be tweaks for those things - but the pace of the game has to stay exciting or else people don't stick with it. Base and Refinery Simulator can only be fun for a short time.

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Re: The Survey

Postby DarcReaver » Tue 19 May 2015 21:58

bluuurrrr wrote:True, I don't doubt there needs to be tweaks for those things - but the pace of the game has to stay exciting or else people don't stick with it. Base and Refinery Simulator can only be fun for a short time.


Company of Heroes has a great game flow, and it also uses 3 resources. Age of Empires is also a great game, and you manage 4 resources there (wood and food are important earlygame, and gold/stone gets more useful later on). Warcraft 3 also uses up to 3 resources (experience for heroes, gold and wood. If you consider "food" aka popcap you end up with 4 resources total). Experience and food become more important lategame while gold/wood are needed early aswell.

And those games had huge communities over a huge amount of time. It's just that the balance between teching up, unit strength and combat duration are designed differently. If AoA combat is polished the game will become VERY interesting.

The PoW is very unique, the close quarter fights are very interesting aswell. It's just that you need more action, and it can be done by making combat more intense with micro options.

Lowering the resource system to money only won't help with the issue you stated before.
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Re: The Survey

Postby bluuurrrr » Tue 19 May 2015 22:10

DarcReaver wrote:
bluuurrrr wrote:True, I don't doubt there needs to be tweaks for those things - but the pace of the game has to stay exciting or else people don't stick with it. Base and Refinery Simulator can only be fun for a short time.


Company of Heroes has a great game flow, and it also uses 3 resources. Age of Empires is also a great game, and you manage 4 resources there (wood and food are important earlygame, and gold/stone gets more useful later on). Warcraft 3 also uses up to 3 resources (experience for heroes, gold and wood. If you consider "food" aka popcap you end up with 4 resources total). Experience and food become more important lategame while gold/wood are needed early aswell.

And those games had huge communities over a huge amount of time. It's just that the balance between teching up, unit strength and combat duration are designed differently. If AoA combat is polished the game will become VERY interesting.

The PoW is very unique, the close quarter fights are very interesting aswell. It's just that you need more action, and it can be done by making combat more intense with micro options.

Lowering the resource system to money only won't help with the issue you stated before.


Those games arent' what I would call an RTS... they were far too slow to use the term real-time in my opinion. Unfortunately from what I've seen - today's player seem to be more comfortable with slower paced, deliberate games. I have my theories as to why that is, but that's not for this forum.

I actually did not like COH - thought it was far to slow - and didn't enjoy spending 35-40 minutes cleaning up a win that I knew was in the bag 5 minutes in.

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Re: The Survey

Postby QShadow » Tue 19 May 2015 22:17

bluuurrrr wrote:
Those games arent' what I would call an RTS... they were far too slow to use the term real-time in my opinion. Unfortunately from what I've seen - today's player seem to be more comfortable with slower paced, deliberate games. I have my theories as to why that is, but that's not for this forum.

I actually did not like COH - thought it was far to slow - and didn't enjoy spending 35-40 minutes cleaning up a win that I knew was in the bag 5 minutes in.


I actually have a friend who was turned off of AoA because it looked too fast paced to him, even though he played many of the old RTS games, actually exactly those you are diminishing like AoE and so on.

However I agree with you on the CoH part, but thats were AoA's POW system comes into play. Presumed both opposing palyers have made it to the endgame, the more you advance to the enemys base the harder restience will get climaxing at the base defense, now if your opponent manages to fight off the first attack wave on the base he is able to capture POWs from the now empty battlefield giving a player the opportunity for a comeback even though he is backed into his base. And after the ressources on the map have depleted those precious POW are your only way to get your hands on RE and alu giving the backed player a huge advantage given he has survived thus far.



DarcReaver wrote:
Company of Heroes has a great game flow, and it also uses 3 resources. Age of Empires is also a great game, and you manage 4 resources there (wood and food are important earlygame, and gold/stone gets more useful later on). Warcraft 3 also uses up to 3 resources (experience for heroes, gold and wood. If you consider "food" aka popcap you end up with 4 resources total). Experience and food become more important lategame while gold/wood are needed early aswell.

And those games had huge communities over a huge amount of time. It's just that the balance between teching up, unit strength and combat duration are designed differently. If AoA combat is polished the game will become VERY interesting.

The PoW is very unique, the close quarter fights are very interesting aswell. It's just that you need more action, and it can be done by making combat more intense with micro options.

Lowering the resource system to money only won't help with the issue you stated before.


I agree to 99,9% especially on the combat part. If the units are a tick more durable to give a chance to micro in engagements better, make infantry a bit faster and other vehicles a bit slower ( I mean the M993 truck and the hercules repairvehicle alone are insanely fast) then this game has a bright future ahead of itself.
Last edited by QShadow on Tue 19 May 2015 22:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Survey

Postby DarcReaver » Tue 19 May 2015 22:20

bluuurrrr wrote:
DarcReaver wrote:
bluuurrrr wrote:True, I don't doubt there needs to be tweaks for those things - but the pace of the game has to stay exciting or else people don't stick with it. Base and Refinery Simulator can only be fun for a short time.


Company of Heroes has a great game flow, and it also uses 3 resources. Age of Empires is also a great game, and you manage 4 resources there (wood and food are important earlygame, and gold/stone gets more useful later on). Warcraft 3 also uses up to 3 resources (experience for heroes, gold and wood. If you consider "food" aka popcap you end up with 4 resources total). Experience and food become more important lategame while gold/wood are needed early aswell.

And those games had huge communities over a huge amount of time. It's just that the balance between teching up, unit strength and combat duration are designed differently. If AoA combat is polished the game will become VERY interesting.

The PoW is very unique, the close quarter fights are very interesting aswell. It's just that you need more action, and it can be done by making combat more intense with micro options.

Lowering the resource system to money only won't help with the issue you stated before.


Those games arent' what I would call an RTS... they were far too slow to use the term real-time in my opinion. Unfortunately from what I've seen - today's player seem to be more comfortable with slower paced, deliberate games. I have my theories as to why that is, but that's not for this forum.

I actually did not like COH - thought it was far to slow - and didn't enjoy spending 35-40 minutes cleaning up a win that I knew was in the bag 5 minutes in.

Those games are real time strategy games. The other genre are real time tactics and round based strategy games like Civilizations. Every game in which you collect resources and control your units directly are by definition RTS.

So, to quote the big lebowski:

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Re: The Survey

Postby QShadow » Tue 19 May 2015 22:22

DarcReaver wrote:Those games are real time strategy games. The other genre are real time tactics and round based strategy games like Civilizations. Every game in which you collect resources and control your units directly are by definition RTS.

So, to quote the dude:

[youtube]https://youtu.be/pWdd6_ZxX8c[/youtube]


You only need the youtube ID to make the video work ---> pWdd6_ZxX8c <---

Ninja'd. You figured it out yourself ^^
Also I want to add that games like Starcraft turn people directly off BECAUSE of theire fast paced gameplay, so to say there is a niche no one exploited so far to bring some corporate talk into this.
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