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CRPGs have made a comeback! How about RTSs?

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After rereading my own sentences from my previous post, I believe that it could be mistakenly taken. I don't really think Paradox games drove a big part from RTS instead of grognards' wargames. Although a bit more "obscure" (even from a grognard point of view), few old games share thing from Paradox games, like Storm accross Europe or Medieval Lords; and the first Europa Universalis game was an adaptation (successfully redesigned) of a boardgame (sometimes even known as a "monster game").

But Paradox games are high scale Real Time Strategy games (with pause), and I believe there are people who prefer Real Time in different cases and for different reasons, then wanted for more depth. I may generalise, but I personally followed that way, loving low scale RTS (Dune II, C&C, Warcraft, AoE, TA, and others) in the 90s, and while not interested in Civ (because of TB), I went to EU thereafter.


On another point, it's interesting to see that there were many tries to mix low scale and high scale in "strategy" games (in larger sense). Koei made strategy games both TBTactics and TBStrategy (Nobunaga's Ambition, Romance of the Three Kingdoms). Then, you had Synergistic who tried to mix strategy, roleplaying and adventure : the Excalibur series, or the Birthright adaptation which had interesting things Total War series would later have. Even last Westwood's Dune, Battle for Middle Earth II and Cossacks II included higher scale gameplay (although a bit limited).

In the other way, there were high scale strategy games which tried to add low scale strategy (or tactical) gameplay, like Imperium Galactica II or the unreleased MMO Dune in 2002.


I personally thought that RTS as a whole would have evolved into further mixing lower and higher scales, but instead, specialized into low or high scale. But I understand it is really difficult to make games as it, way more difficult than TBS, especially for multiplayer purposes.




Modern RTS aproach:
  • No base building, just capture and secure strateguc points. There is some prep module before each mission.
  • Small number of units, heroic style. Like 4-10 per mission.
  • Each unit have number of special powers
  • You can activate AI (hold mouse) and just order to do something smart in contex order (nearby allies will capture, attack, move forward and so on).


It's more RTT than RTS, (Commandos, Close Combat - style) I believe. But it's just taxonomy :p

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I think the real problem became one of scale. On one hand you had games like Company of Heroes pop up that were squad based and had hyper low unit caps, flip side had Supreme Commander and grand strategy games playing out as if you were the king of an empire that was fighting over a world. There wasn't really a good niche for the old style RTS to fall into because people didn't want to always have to rebuild their base and start from square one each and every time.


Deserts of Kharak showed that there is a market for it, when previous (and terrible) games before scared off investment. Starcraft two has been waning since Heart of the Swarm, and Command and Conquer had been killed to a browser based... thing, from underperformance of it's last several games. It's an easy genre to get REALLY wrong, and not a safe bet for investment.


Also, Battlefleet Gothic Armada is amazing.

Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!


Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

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It's more RTT than RTS, (Commandos, Close Combat - style) I believe. But it's just taxonomy :p

There is several aproaches:

  • Big scale like in Wargame European Escalation
  • Horde RTS (like Starcraft)
  • Tactical (company of heroes)

Not saying which one is best. But maybe tactical could fit, enought depth to make things interesting, but not overhelming scale.

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