How To Develop An RTS Game – Brief Guide

Red Alert 2 (Westwood Studios) and Age of Empires 2 (Microsoft) have been video games which described the technology of computing just being used to GUI (mid/overdue ninety’s).

Originally designed for DOS, Red Alert turned into constructed by means of Westwood Studios – RTS pioneer thru titles which include Dune. The sport become a breakthrough because of its realtime nature pussy888.

Add to that a killer storyline, terrific photographs and near-legendary gameplay mechanics and you’ve got a winner. As a software program developer, it is smooth to be in awe at games like this… But it is every other knowing how they paintings. This academic is a quick introduction into what I recognize approximately it.

OOP (Object Orientated Programming)

The most vital issue you want to understand with any recreation is that they are programmed the usage of OOP concepts. OOP stands for object orientated programming, and essentially the alternative of waft-based totally programming:

Flow based totally applications work with the float of an utility. They will focus on person enter and manipulate their machine based totally on bureaucracy – generally clean the UI whenever an enter is provided.
Object orientated packages paintings by way of loading a base utility and the use of that to load a sequence of variables (items). These variables are held in memory and can be interacted with on the display screen in realtime.
The middle of OOP is the potential to “invoke” classes. Classes are a type of variable which can help you save “attributes”, and use the ones attributes in “public” (magnificence) and “personal” (instance) methods.
The manner almost all games work is to invoke a number of facts gadgets into reminiscence, populate them with an appropriate attributes (hit points etc) and then proceed to name the numerous example / elegance techniques on them as the person interacts with them in-sport.

Data + Renderer

On top of a center OOP architecture, RTS video games work with factors – a records backend and “renderer” the front give up. Understanding how these work together is the middle of whether or not you may understand a way to make an RTS sport paintings from a programmatic perspective.

Imagine an RTS as a easy application. Ignore the photos and paintings etc – attention on the way you’d make the gadgets move round on-display.

It works like this – the utility hundreds up. This gives you the potential to manipulate your credentials (load past games, change your info etc). The process of the utility (in an RTS) is to then create new “video games”. These games exist between two or greater players, and acts like a massive chessboard onto which you’re capable of add new buildings, gadgets etc.

Each “game” hundreds up units of facts (your statistics & the alternative player’s). The task of the game is that will help you manage this facts to overcome out your enemy.

Data (Buildings / Units / etc)

When a new “sport” is loaded, the facts for you and your enemies are loaded into reminiscence. For instance, you may have a data-set which looks like this:

Player #1
– Buildings
– 12
– 34
– eighty one
– 19
– Units
– 109
– 109
– 109
– 109
Player #2
– Buildings
– 12
– 34
– Units
– 10
– 12
– 24
Each range above corresponds to an ID for a facts item. In relational databases, the ID will act as a foreign_key.

The way you control those objects is to have a crucial statistics keep (as an instance a relational database) which stores the homes as unique items on their own.

This way, whilst you create a brand new building, what you’re doing is growing a brand new reference in the database. For Rails, you’ll have the subsequent setup:

factions_table (has_many buildings, has_many devices via buildings)
objects_table (this may be superclassed as buildings & gadgets)
games_table (acts as a join desk for players) (belongs_to:player_1, belongs_to:player_2)
actions_table (this information the actions of the sport “player 1 commenced building x”)
The manner you’ll installation the sport is the following:
The aim of the application is to create players
Once the player has “logged in” (both with serial or email), they will be able to create a “sport”
The recreation will then allow every participant to “build” buildings and construct devices. The gadgets are to be had thru homes (you need to build devices with a view to make units to be had)
Each building/unit is available through a faction.
You need some form of tech tree to permit specific unit / building manufacturing for certain research investments
The manner this will paintings is to load a “blank” data set whilst the game masses.
From right here, the consumer is capable of construct the numerous decrease level buildings / devices with the assets they’re able to acquire. Each time the consumer “creates” a new building, they are creating a new statistics item which adds to their array of homes / devices.

Please recognize this statistics-set has definitely no relating how the sport looks.

Part of what makes RTS games so appealing is the seamless bridge between records and renderer. Imagine the statistics as a natural list of numbers, and many others. There is NOTHING visible about it.

In truth, in case you ran a “console” view of the sport, you’ll essentially see sets of data, continuously having their attributes (hit points, position, and many others) changed with the aid of the sport engine.


This is where the magic happens, and is of course the most complex element of the game itself. I do not have everywhere near the level of experience with this as I do with the pure records.

The renderer is normally what throws off maximum could-be developers.

The way it works is very simple.

Firstly, when a new “game” is loaded, it creates a “chessboard” onto which your facts objects are placed. This chessboard is manifestly the map.

The map has constraints (dimensions) which gives the software the capability to “draw” a grid. This grid lets in you to apply a series of co-ordinates to “function” new homes (items).

Whilst the dataset does not care approximately the positions, the renderer does. This way that if you wanted to build a new building in a vicinity already occupied by way of some other, you will be unable to.

The manner you’d handle this is to ship the co-ordinates through in a new build request to the server. The co-ordinates will then permit the server to manage whether or not the person is able to construct a brand new constructing. If the reaction is tremendous, the engine will showcase the building’s production. If not, it’s going to now not permit the constructing to be built.

The largest aspect with the renderer lies within the “AI”.

This is the actual magic of the sport. When you move a unit from position A to position B, how does it interact with different factors in the game, as an example.

Programming Languages / Architecture

How you design an RTS relies upon entirely at the medium wherein it will likely be added. Back inside the day, you simply needed to create a computer software.

Today, you have the net, cell and laptop to recall. As such, the general landscape of video games has changed to be a greater inclusive revel in.

More importantly, we have visible the movement of sport mechanics to the server. This method that if you play a recreation for your browser, in your laptop or via cell, all you’re doing is sending requests to the server and it’ll reply with updates for the renderer.

None of the physics, game statistics or build mechanics are stored inside the client aspect software anymore.