Game-play Mechanics of Real-time Strategy Games

November 17th, 2008, RTS Design

jeb <3 RTSThis ridiculously long post title comes from an article that I was writing during the summer. As the clairvoyant would presume, it was an article about design and balancing of real-time strategy games, with focus on core game-play mechanics rather than the old boring rock-paper-scissors debate. Unfortunately I never finished it, and now it has been gathering dust for a couple of months. I thought this was a little bit sad, so I decided to divide the article into a number of blog posts instead, which hopefully will give me some new inspiration and motivation to finish the thing.

In this series of blog posts I will take a look at unit movement, construction, resources, macro-game rules and similar topics. Though I will mainly inspect these objectively, I will apply my own opinions on the different subjects. One thing to remember, though, is that there’s rarely a “right” or “wrong” when it comes to game design. The question is rather, what game are you trying to create,  and for whom?

My original plan was to begin with some background history, but the article at Wikipedia already does that flawlessly. For mortals it’s only necessary to recall that Dune 2 (Westwood Studios, 1992) defined the RTS genre, and for geeks it can be interesting to know that there were games with RTS-like elements earlier than that. Dune 2 was however the first RTS game I ever played, and it has strongly influenced my taste in games.

I will post the first parts in the following days. Since you are reading this, it means that I’ve created at least 3 drafts already, because that’s my criteria for beginning this series.

/ jeb

2 Responses to “Game-play Mechanics of Real-time Strategy Games”

  1. jellocube :

    Based with your fanatic interest in conceptual game design, I’m sure it will be a fascinating read.

  2. Strategy Games :

    thanks for this information!

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