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Thread: [Beta] Drone Wars RTS

  1. #1
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    [Beta] Drone Wars RTS

    Almost done with this complicated game, I haven't released anything new in months. Please leave me any feedback, major or minor. I was going to make this multiplayer but I've decided to leave it single player till I know how popular it is. Since it might be a bit tedious for most people. Click help for controls, have fun!

    http://gamebrew.com/games/blogs/dronewars/play.php

    Thanks!
    Gamebrew


  2. #2
    Style Through Simplicity alillm's Avatar
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    Very nice. Seems pretty solid and balanced. The enemies were a bit easy, although maybe you are planning more levels with increased difficulty. I guess my only real criticism, is that there is some pretty major slow down in big fights. Considering the number of sprites isn’t that high (about 15 ships shooting at each other was running slow) I'm guessing that could be optimised a bit.

    Nice job overall though . There aren’t many RTS games of this standard in flash (although I'm still waiting for one with full on pathfinding and AI).

    Ali

  3. #3
    Senior Member fil_razorback's Avatar
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    I tried playing your game because it looked (and actually is) quite polished but RTS just arent my thing.
    Your interface is quite good, I especially enjoyed enjoyed the tooltips (even though its colors could be more techy and less windowsy).
    Your graphics are quite unequal, the ships look rather good and so do their animations but the background and war fog look bland in comparison.
    About sound, I really didn't like the musics, I think you should invest some time in finding something better. I think you could even get a composer for free on some music board.
    Also, the sound effects were too loud.

    Last but not least, why do I have to use the "move" icon when I want to move an unit ? It would be much much more convenient just to click the screen to tell the selected unit to go somewhere.

    I can tell you nothing about gameplay, i really am retarded with those games :P

  4. #4
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    Thanks for your comments. I've had a lot of trouble with speed, I tried optimizing the vectors as much as I could but things still slowed down, I could probably find a few more things to tweak. I may have to sacrifice the nice black outline or remove the last level where there is alot of AI.

    The fog of war I would rather have it more faded but I wasn't sure a nice way to make alpha masks that didn't slow down the game too much. Also the music I wanted to make techno-ie, I found them right here in FK.

    The move icon is just there, I think Starcraft has it too. By default clicking on an empty map moves there, clicking on an enemy attacks it, so you don't have to choose it. Tho the mothership does not move by default.

  5. #5
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    It's seems pretty cute and balanced - the only flash RTS game I've seen, so that's nice

    However, your weak side is level design. I started with the arcade mode, which I assume is another way to say campaign in this game. The first level was ok to get my bearings. The second level was just boring since nothing new really happened. The third level was plain stupid - a timer for no obvious reason and I felt frustrated and annoyed when I didn't make it, with no real *****ion to trying again.

    It may be ok for someone who has never played an RTS game and is completely new to the genre. But I think that all the basic non-fighting stuff could easily be compacted into the first level with maybe a few easy enemies that attack at the end. Something like that should work well for both newbies and others. Then after the first level move straight into the more serious stuff.

  6. #6
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    ... so a_m_b_i_t-ion becomes *****ion? I really do fail to see the naughtiness of that word

    Anyway, it's also annoying that the selection doesn't really work. It seems like you're using onMouseOver, and it doesn't detect the holes in the ship. So when I try to select a ship that has "air" in the middle, I often end up moving my previously selected ship right on top of it. I suggest you fix it by drawing with transparency in the empty regions or some other trick.

  7. #7
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    Level design isn't one of my strengths, since you played it let me know if you have any ideas

    I read up on optimization tips and found a few big ones. I removed some onEnterFrame effects from the bullets and made them into regular timeline effects. It improved a lot, not enough to have a hundred stuff flying around but much better than before.

    I do have problems with the drag-select, but then when I reload the game those problems disappear, still not sure why that happens sometimes.

  8. #8
    Funkalicious TOdorus's Avatar
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    When I select a gatherer that holds resources and I click on the mothership it doesn't deliver it's resources but instead selects the mothership. I understand why you've chosen for that option, but when I click "Gather" instead of the mothership it goes to the resources first and then immediatly goes to the mothership instead of going straight to the mothership.

    When I move my mothership, the repair and gather drones don't follow, but wait till it's at a new position.

    I cannot que up units in the mothership. This is somewhat annoying.

    And maybe you could add scrolling when I hold my mouse at the edges of the screen?

    Oh and a pause button might come in handy. Especially considering users will be checking their email running media player etc.

    I've developped something somewhat similair (and probably never to finish), but with more advanced ai. It should still be on these boards somewhere. So if you've got any questions about that, I'd be happy to answer them.

  9. #9
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    Hi TOdorus, yes I had to make due with one mouse button. I don't see your first point, if its holding an ore it will go to the mothership to deliver it. If it has no ore it will go to the asteroid.

    For the drones following the mothership, I originally had them follow, but the mothership moves so slow that all the units do small start-stop steps till the mothership stops and it looked weird. I also though it was unlikely you needed to move the mothership anyway.

    Queuing up build units is something I have to add. Edge scrolling too. The pause button is the HELP button at the button or pressing P.

    Thanks, for your comments!

  10. #10
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    I'm looking forward to Flash RTS games. (Backyard Buzzing is another, but I don't really like bug themed games.) So I'm very happy to discover this!

    A few thoughts:

    The sound effects are very nice.

    Can you add zooming?

    The tooltips could be sexier.

    The first time I was attacked, I dodged the shots, which I thought was very cool. But then I got hit once and it was impossible to keep dodging because the ship kept turning to fight the enemies, which was annoying.

    I'd love multiplayer mode, if it was painless (no registration required).

    And I agree with the posters above about queuing units, edge scrolling, and the music.

    Is this ready for the public?

  11. #11
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    Hi Taels, thanks for checking it out, I still need more opinions on this. I just released it today to my own site Gamebrew.com still as beta.

    Zooming might mess up a lot of detection related stuff for me. I made the tooltips green-black but it blended in too well, so I left it windowzy colored.

    Your ship kept turning to attack because its "Attack" option was set to on. If it was off it would move without attacking. I tried a couple of things this seemed best, especially if your not watching you want your attack units to fight back when they can.

    I tried edge scrolling but it messed up because I could not detect where the mouse was if it left the game window. Sometimes it would keep scrolling because its last position was at the edge just before leaving the game window.

    Multiplayer mode is a big pain, I will only consider it if more people were interested in the game. Queueing I will add later, its very good to have.

  12. #12
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    No problem. Overall I love the game, and hated to criticize at all, but I hoped a few of the suggestions might help.

    * Zooming would be nice to have in the future, but I understand it must be difficult in Flash.

    * Could you add edge scrolling with a small margin at the very edge where it doesn't scroll?

    * About music, I've seen a couple of good sources of free royalty free music (you probably already know about them): Incompetech.com and soundsnap.com . Perhaps you could sequence several complimentary music loops. Music always seems to be the weakest part of Flash games; but I imagine the big studios pay a fortune for their music.

  13. #13
    The Cheeze to Your Macaroni ColbyCheeze's Avatar
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    Couple of thoughts...first of all I LOVE RTS games, in fact I was planning on building an RTS after I finish my current game.

    For the controls, it would be nice if you could:

    • Shift + click to add units to the group.
    • Double click to select all of a class
    • spacebar should deselect units. It's a hassle to go up and push esc, space bar is much easier.
    • Allow map to scroll based on mouse direction when you hold down middle mouse button (like in C&C Generals)


    Some balance thoughts:
    • Dissallow the mothership to move. It allows you to get resources extrememly fast. Very unbalanced, especially if you do multiplayer
    • Take out the time limits, they are annoying and do not add to the fun factor. Also keep in mind most flash games are meant to be quick fun plays...I learned this on my last game too.
    • It would be great if you could add multiple build ques, and the ability to upgrade research while building units. Also it would be nice if there was a way to build extra units that allowed you to build fighters...
    • It would be great to see more units in the game
    • I really dislike the fog of war...personally I'd just take it out. It's good in some games but I don't think it fits here.
    • Perhaps if you used bitmaps rather than vector art it would improve performance
    • It would be cool if you could find a way to get the map to zoom, but again you said that might be hard with your current code.
    • It would be cool if the units moved a little bit faster, (not performance wise, but actually moved faster)
    • It would be cool to have a mode to design our own levels, you could have some community maps that way...not sure how your levels are being loaded in currently


    So those are my initial thoughts that I typed out while playing. I stopped on the level where I had to fight 2 enemies because I got bored...game is a bit slow for me and I think it would be more fun if there were more units in it, after that first level you had to fight the enemy on it seemed to run out of strategy.

    Keep it up, wish there were more RTS games in flash!

  14. #14
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    Thanks for your comments. For the controls I tried to mimick Starcraft, I hope I remembered it right. CTRL+Click adds/removes a single unit. SHIFT+Click selects all units of the same type. I changed the unselect all to SPACE bar as you suggested.

    To me the fog of war is a necessity. If there is none then you don't need any strategy, you can see exactly what the enemy has and its just the first person to attack. If there is fog you don't know where they are yet, or if they are trying to grow an economy faster before making attack units. This also obsoletes the scout drone.

    Some more changes: I made a mothership moving too close to an asteroid invalid, sped up gathering and reduced time to build slightly. If you want units to fly faster there is a thruster upgrade. Thanks!

  15. #15
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    I can get past your safety against moving the mothership too close by clicking past the asteroid then clicking stop when it's over it.
    .

  16. #16
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    You're right I forgot about that. Gotta rethink it. Maybe best to just disable it, but I think there are times when u need to move it, especially when ore gets depleted.

  17. #17
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    maybe you could make it so that it will keep moving until it reaches the rim of the forbidden area like what you do when you click to build something as it's moving.
    .

  18. #18
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    I don't really think an RTS could really be done in flash, since the control scheme is very complicated however you did it quite well. By far the smoothest and most intuitive flash RTS I have seen.
    The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
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  19. #19
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    Thanks! I figured out a good excuse for the mothership not being so close to the asteroid. The supply drone will refuse to drill if the mothership is nearby. The behind-the-scenes reason is that its dangerous to drill near her. That change is already done. I've also just released the game to Newgrounds for more feedback.

    An RTS is really hard to make, but this is an easy way to do it. Because there are no obstacles, no pathfinding, one "race" and its top-view so not many sprites are needed. A perfect first RTS for a beginner and Starcraft fan

  20. #20
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    I compliment you, this has pretty much no bugs. One bug that I had a problem with was I had the second to best fighter ship and was attacking someone but when the enemy was destroyed my ship froze and it would not listen to any command I gave it. I ended up ignoring it and later on it did finally turn to defend against some attackers. There might be something to letting the mothership get even closer when it's depleted. You'd best have some sign like a big circle around the asteroid showing how close the mothership can get.
    .

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