Skip to main content

Procedural terrain for Real Time Strategy.

The current phase of development is taking longer than I'd like because of the difficulty of designing procedural terrain for Real Time Strategy games.





In many RTS games water is impassable, this makes bridges very important strategic locations. But the flip side of this is that units that can go through or over water become valuable too.

Unfortunately it's not so easy to just let any unit become amphibious. If a unit can go through water it needs different pathfinding, it also needs to know the difference between moving in to water from the shore, and moving in to water from a bridge. Most RTS games are not true 3D. So bridges, though they look like they are raised up above the surface of the water are usually not. Driving your tank over the side of the bridge and in to the water would give some funky results.

So I need to mark tiles as water, but also mark bridge tiles. An option would be to add impassible tiles along the edges of the bridge, so you just can't drive off or on to them. Another option would be to hard code amphibious units not to go from bridge to water or vice versa.

Another problem is to keep the nice flowing appearance of rivers while making them modular. I want them to curve but that means either writing a lot of heavy code (which will get executed when you start, lagging the game start up more than I'd like) to curve them by hand, or cutting them in to sections and treating them just like terrain tiles.

The same issue is attached to roads if I want to handle them as objects instead of just different textured terrain, though there's the problem of making them intersect...

Other problems include placing and keeping track of walls, buildings and such. Also code for more types of terrain such as fields and woodlands.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Vinland 1936

What have I been up to this month?

Well you can see it in a couple of development blog videos, here, here and here.

Vinland 1936 is a game I've been working on (on and off) for about 3 years. It is somewhat based on the old Nirval interactive game, Blitzkrieg;





I hope you've played it since it is one of the best games ever!!! (IMHO)
Blitzkrieg was a real time tactics game. You didn't build a base, or spawn units. It wasn't about rushing the enemy. You got a small number of troops and vehicles that could be replenished or repaired if you had access to a supply base and the right supply trucks, but couldn't be replaced if lost. Once your vehicles were destroyed and your infantry killed you were finished. You couldn't just churn out some more from your factory and have another go at rushing the enemy guns. This made you invest a lot in each of your units. They really mattered.

It was also procedurally generated. Each mission (except for the historical missions) was…

Reboot / Remake / Restart

Although the roguelike project was going well I had a few issues with some parts of the code, and the sheer size of the project was something I could see stretching away in front of me for years with no guarantee that people would actually want to play it when it's finished.

It's time to try something a little less ambitious.
I'm going full rogueLITE!

Using a lot of the code from the roguelike project, I started making a more limited game.
There will be a single character, combat will be more arcade like, there will still be a chance to upgrade and develop your character's stats, but they represent only a single class and have fixed equipment.

I've got a fun character, an interesting setting and an exciting story lined up. It still utilizes my low poly style, but things are going to be a little more cartoony.

Game play involves mostly chucking bombs at the enemy.

But there's also a lot of platforming, jumping from multiple levels is part of the game. And you ca…

Telling a story; Creating a Compelling Narrative.

Telling a story; Creating a Compelling Narrative. In this blog I will talk about my own recent brush with story telling and go on to talk about how tools from creative wring can help you to better author the narrative in your games, whether they have a traditional linear narrative or a procedurally generated interactive narrative.

Narrative and structure in traditional fiction  last week I started writing a story set in the world I'm developing for my game Vinland: 1936.

I hope the story will help me to flesh out my game world and develop my own expanded universe which will be a good place to set my games in the future.

After about a week of work, on and off I've progressed the story to outline stage. For each character thread I have half a dozen chapters which plot a course through the events of the story. Each thread is told from the perspective of a different character.


Actually I started writing as soon as I had my outline, but I've since gone back and deleted what …