RTS style perspective

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RTS style perspective

Postby sp4x0r » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:06 am

Sorry for the long post.

I'm tinkering around with a lightweight RTS style mod, and I'm wondering what approach to take with the player's perspective. I'm pretty naive about unintended consequences of the decisions I'm starting to make, so I was hoping I might be able to get some feedback.

I'm thinking in terms of 2d style environments so that enforcing a top-down view doesn't cause any problems (e.g. most RTS games). So with this I:
- use chase_active (which I'm guessing limits me to darkplaces? More on this later)
- put a clip brush above the entire map with the player spawn above this
- use cl_prydoncursor for mouse input.

This is a pretty simple way of putting the player above all the action, being able to run around without snagging on anything, but for all I know it's a stupid idea for other reasons. Certainly it limits how close you get to and how far you get from the action, although I think the gameplay can be designed to work with that.

An alternative would be to do something more like the interface in the Total War games, which gives you a lot more freedom to move around but still keeps you in a top-down view. What I find with those games, though, is I normally just get as high as the game lets me and stay up there. My understanding is that the player physics and input are handled by the client, not in QC, is that right? Is it simple to get spectator style movement working?

I remember playing a Quake2 mod years ago that was an RTS. It had 3D environments. You essentially moved around like a spectator and used your crosshairs to select things. I found doing this to be clunky (maybe I just didn't play it enough to get used to it). You couldn't really pull back to get a perspective on battles, you were still moving around the map like you would in a FPS, it just felt like your movements were too hindered. That's why I'd really prefer to have the player up above everything. Also, I'm generally trying not to do anything innovative. This is mainly a learning exercise - I don't want to get bogged down in heavy gameplay design issues. I guess RTS is a pretty stupid genre to pick in this regard ;-) I'm also trying to restrict myself to using the assets from Quake as much as possible.

So, babble aside, the issues are:
- Is my approach for a top down perspective going to give me grief down the track with things like networking / other stuff I can't think of and have no experience with?
- Would changing tack and having a flying client style interface be reasonably simple to set up in QC? Fly mode is a little too funky for me.
- is limiting myself to Darkplaces for the time-saving modding features (e.g. chase_active, cl_prydoncursor, colormod) going to take a huge chunk out of the already small potential audience for this?

Any suggestions appreciated.
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Postby Spike » Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:40 am

chase_active isn't a modding feature. You won't have enough control over it. considering you don't want a chasecam, but instead want a free-floating view, its useless.
If people want to play a mod, then they won't mind too much which engine it requires, so long as that engine runs at a reasonable framerate on thier box. If you're using DP, make sure your config will not default with everything and its dog switched on 'just because you get 30 fps on your box'.
prydoncursor is sweet enough to mandate specific engines. on the other hand colourmod will possibly be useful for selections, though custom colormaps is imho more useful, and doesn't always require extensions.

top-down perspectives suffer from min/max pitches. you should be able to switch those with cvars.

tei made an rts ages ago, give it a go, it might give you some ideas.
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Postby Sajt » Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:49 pm

Or, of course, Mauve's Defeat in Detail...
F. A. Špork, an enlightened nobleman and a great patron of art, had a stately Baroque spa complex built on the banks of the River Labe.
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Postby metalmodman » Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:53 pm

I think the mod was called command and conquer, it was for quake 1 and quake 2.
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Postby Error » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:52 pm

I did it by giving the player MOVETYPE_FLY, manually setting the player's angles to be stuck down, prydon_cursor, and manually setting their origin_z to whatever the player spawn point's origin_z is.

It works, and is quite easy.
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