Why no new Star Wars RTS game? And what would you like to see?

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Re: Why no new Star Wars RTS game? And what would you like to see?

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-02-06 11:53am

Imperial Civil War is a good one that I'm playing at the moment.
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Re: Why no new Star Wars RTS game? And what would you like to see?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-02-06 04:51pm

Never got into mods, but if I can get my old copy to still work, I might try and find some good ones.

Which leads to the obvious question: Is there a good Star Wars vs. Star Trek mod anyone can recommend?

Or if anyone is still making mods for an old game, a Sequel Trilogy mod.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Why no new Star Wars RTS game? And what would you like to see?

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-02-06 05:26pm

If you can't get your old copy to work (like I couldn't) the base game and Forces of Corruption expansion (needed for most mods) is about £15 on Steam right now.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: Why no new Star Wars RTS game? And what would you like to see?

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-02-06 05:49pm

Or check out gog.com. About the same price but no Drm or need for the steam app to use it.
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Re: Why no new Star Wars RTS game? And what would you like to see?

Post by MarxII » 2018-02-07 06:27pm

This is actually a topic weirdly near to my heart and I cannot resist throwing two cents in, particularly since I feel no strategy game has yet capitalized on the vast potential this franchise has. Bearing in mind that my knowledge of game design is layman-level at best and my familiarity with the lore is fairly outdated by this point, here are a couple thoughts I've had.

Firstly, it seems to me that any Star Wars RTS must provide a prominent place for the heroes (in the broader RTS sense) whose driving effect on the both the narrative and the course of the war(s) is second only to that of the Force, if that. My opinion is that this requires a gameplay accommodation rather more fundamental than simply scaling up the power level of a reskinned generic unit.This leads to my next point, which TRR hits on the head:
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-30 06:59pm
One of the opportunities I think Empire at War missed, incidentally, was the chance to create different factions with highly different styles of play. There was some variation between the Rebellion and the Empire in the game, but not enough. Both had the same basic categories of units, and both followed the same basic strategy- island hopping from one star system to another via winning conventional battles, until one side had all the planets.

I'd have perhaps taken the riskier and more challenging but ultimately more interesting route: have the Rebels play more like an insurgency. Hit and runs, assassinations, sabotage, diplomatic wrangling to incite planetary uprisings. Which the Empire would have to counter through more conventional means of overwhelming numbers and firepower.
While the Clone Wars might be adequately modeled along the lines of a conventional clash of powers across galactic territorial units, the Rebellion is remarkably unsuited for such treatment, culminating as it so often does in squadrons of beige and red tanks rolling into Coruscant or the like. While I freely confess to having a considerable nostalgic fondness for Galactic Battlegrounds, that game very neatly illustrates the wrongest way to go about the idea, and some of the pitfalls of simply slapping a Star Wars skin on a Starcraft engine.

To this end I've often wondered if the best way to model two competing forces engaged in very fundamentally different styles of warfare might not require equally different gameplay styles, such as a traditional RTS when playing as the Empire, and some smaller-scale squad-based or MOBAesque means on the Rebel side. The idea of leading forces in person from the front, even (or especially) as the Imperial side is a terribly intriguing one, and might help facilitate the conventional imbalance necessary to model the OT conflicts.

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Re: Why no new Star Wars RTS game? And what would you like to see?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-02-08 07:58pm

Pretty much, yeah.

Agreed about the heroes units needing to play a central role- Star Wars is, fundamentally, an epic of larger-than-life individuals aligned with either the Light or Dark Side of the Force, swaying events on a grand scale.

And yeah, WWII-style conventional warfare in space, between factions that, a few differences aside, largely play the same, is about the most unimaginative way possible to design a Star Wars RTS.

EaW dropped the ball on some other things as well, most notable perhaps the lack of tactical options like ramming, orbital bombardment, etc. (though I think the expansion may have fleshed these out somewhat, IIRC). So the battles, in my experience, tended to end up all playing out more or less the same. It wasn't bad, exactly, so much as generic. But it could have been so much more.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Why no new Star Wars RTS game? And what would you like to see?

Post by MarxII » 2018-02-10 03:01am

Reducing the overall scale of gameplay might be a start. Certainly the franchise as a whole seems to show far fewer set-piece battles relative to smaller scuffles, particularly if we're not talking about space.

Those might well require their own set of mechanics more or less as EaW handled it; I for my part hold the opinion that fewer than three distinct and interconnected gameplay modes does the series an injustice.

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Re: Why no new Star Wars RTS game? And what would you like to see?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-02-10 01:26pm

Star Wars battles tend to fall into three distinct categories, yes:

-Space battles (which could probably be sub-divided into small-scale starfighter actions and large-scale capital ship actions). Most of the action generally revolves around starfighters, launched from and supported/commanded by large capital ships. I feel that conventional RTS gameplay is a bit limited for this, due to the unusual nature of the environment (sigh... Empire at War and its 2D space battles).

-Large-scale conventional ground battles, dominated by walkers and fixed line-of-sight artillery, supported by aircraft and/or infantry forces. Conventional RTS-style can handle this well enough.

-Small scale ground combat, involving skirmishing and infiltration by commandos (this would probably be more along the lines of a shooter).

With some interaction between the different types (1 and 2 interact with orbital bombardment vs. planetary shield, and 3 can occure as a subset of 1 or 2).

So yeah, complicated.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Why no new Star Wars RTS game? And what would you like to see?

Post by Coop D'etat » 2018-02-10 04:34pm

If your talking about strategic concepts, I don't think anything they've done has beat what the 90s Rebellion game did, which was to have warfare as an intersection of direct military action, covert operations and diplomacy, with all three elements interacting in complex ways. Its recent revival as a board game which has turned out to be fairly popular as those things go, has a similar ethos.

Basically, if you're going to model Star Wars conflicts, it shouldn't be as a WW2 style total war of gathering resources to build a war machine to smash into your oponents, but as a civil war. So infiltration, intelligence, defections and most of all, popular support are just as important as a fleet on fleet engagement.

My best idea for a Star Wars strategy game would be to do it as regional commanders of the sector forces of your particular faction. You directly control a core expeditionary force from your side in the galactic civil war, but most of the action is using combined military, covert and political warfare to gain the support of the local system factions to your side to tip the scales in your favour against your opposing factions own regional forces.

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Re: Why no new Star Wars RTS game? And what would you like to see?

Post by fractalsponge1 » 2018-02-10 04:52pm

I don't believe there's been any game that's done so many scales of play as space battle RTS/flight sim/ground combat RTS/shooter. Any attempt to really do this is going to end in total development hell. At best you would be able to zoom in to some scales of tactical combat from a strategic map - Rebellion, Total War, and EaW all did this, but all of them really focused on one aspect and the rest was pretty much an afterthought. Do it right on this formula and with current tech I think you could have an updated Homeworld-style space RTS with an overlaid Rebellion-style diplomacy/agent action strategic layer in a reasonable development schedule. Rebellion did it pretty well as a concept, but the tactical side was total crap and the strategic side too simple - update both and make everything deeper as a backbone for different flavored campaigns and it could be a winner I think.

As for background, I agree with doing sector-scale stuff. Sort of like RPG campaigns but focused down pretty hard on a particular region, maybe with DLC/expansions that switches up the setting and shuffles the characters, like OT sector, Clone Wars sector, Old Republic sector, etc. You could have several starting setups, with one side being the infiltrators vs an established faction, or two factions starting with equal resources in a brawl. The trick would be to make things limited so one side can't steamroll everything with brute force until maybe the late game.

The problem with all this is that AAA single-player games are dying off because publishers want to monetize things as part of some continuous update grind cycle, and something like Rebellion 2.0 would be hard as hell to build loot crates for. Since EA has the SW games license, basically anything like these concepts won't ever happen until Disney pulls the exclusivity plug.

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Re: Why no new Star Wars RTS game? And what would you like to see?

Post by Coop D'etat » 2018-02-10 06:45pm

fractalsponge1 wrote:
2018-02-10 04:52pm
I don't believe there's been any game that's done so many scales of play as space battle RTS/flight sim/ground combat RTS/shooter. Any attempt to really do this is going to end in total development hell. At best you would be able to zoom in to some scales of tactical combat from a strategic map - Rebellion, Total War, and EaW all did this, but all of them really focused on one aspect and the rest was pretty much an afterthought. Do it right on this formula and with current tech I think you could have an updated Homeworld-style space RTS with an overlaid Rebellion-style diplomacy/agent action strategic layer in a reasonable development schedule. Rebellion did it pretty well as a concept, but the tactical side was total crap and the strategic side too simple - update both and make everything deeper as a backbone for different flavored campaigns and it could be a winner I think.

As for background, I agree with doing sector-scale stuff. Sort of like RPG campaigns but focused down pretty hard on a particular region, maybe with DLC/expansions that switches up the setting and shuffles the characters, like OT sector, Clone Wars sector, Old Republic sector, etc. You could have several starting setups, with one side being the infiltrators vs an established faction, or two factions starting with equal resources in a brawl. The trick would be to make things limited so one side can't steamroll everything with brute force until maybe the late game.

The problem with all this is that AAA single-player games are dying off because publishers want to monetize things as part of some continuous update grind cycle, and something like Rebellion 2.0 would be hard as hell to build loot crates for. Since EA has the SW games license, basically anything like these concepts won't ever happen until Disney pulls the exclusivity plug.
I agree with pretty much everything you just said here, but I'll note that the problem with Rebellion's strategic map wasn't that it was too simple. If you peeled the layers of it, it was actually deeply complex and the various elements interacted well in interesting ways. As mechanisms of a game it was pretty good.

The problems were elsewhere. First, there was no flexibility of starting scenarios to make it interesting for multiple games or to set up interesting strategic puzzles. Second, the AI was far too stupid to use the in game elements properly against you. Third the user interface was far to clunky to help you find the deeper aspects of the game play unless you spent a lot of time looking for them and there was miminal reward for doing so because the game was easy enough to beat without making efficient use of the multitude of interesting stategic options that were availible to you. Its a story of really interesting and well thought out game mechanics for its time undermined by everything else being junk.

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Re: Why no new Star Wars RTS game? And what would you like to see?

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-02-10 09:41pm

Combining sim/shooter games with strategy could work if you used something like the old Battlefront games, and added some kind of strategic map function. Sort of like you can have battles at X, Y, and Z location on a planet, but you can only be at one battle at a time, and unless you're VERY good you can't be at all the battles before they're finished. So you have NPC captains or whatever that you put in charge of your other battles, and the more successes they have the better they get, unless you deliberately undercut them by only putting them up against bad opponents... something like that. Add variety by having specific NPC units that you can join or allow to work on their own such as say Republic Commandos or the 501st, tank units, things like that.
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Re: Why no new Star Wars RTS game? And what would you like to see?

Post by fractalsponge1 » 2018-02-10 10:05pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-02-10 09:41pm
Combining sim/shooter games with strategy could work if you used something like the old Battlefront games, and added some kind of strategic map function. Sort of like you can have battles at X, Y, and Z location on a planet, but you can only be at one battle at a time, and unless you're VERY good you can't be at all the battles before they're finished. So you have NPC captains or whatever that you put in charge of your other battles, and the more successes they have the better they get, unless you deliberately undercut them by only putting them up against bad opponents... something like that. Add variety by having specific NPC units that you can join or allow to work on their own such as say Republic Commandos or the 501st, tank units, things like that.
In Total War and 4X games with some tactical component the battles would take place at the same time would just be queued. But auto-resolve would be an important option to have.

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Re: Why no new Star Wars RTS game? And what would you like to see?

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-02-12 07:06pm

fractalsponge1 wrote:
2018-02-10 10:05pm
Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-02-10 09:41pm
Combining sim/shooter games with strategy could work if you used something like the old Battlefront games, and added some kind of strategic map function. Sort of like you can have battles at X, Y, and Z location on a planet, but you can only be at one battle at a time, and unless you're VERY good you can't be at all the battles before they're finished. So you have NPC captains or whatever that you put in charge of your other battles, and the more successes they have the better they get, unless you deliberately undercut them by only putting them up against bad opponents... something like that. Add variety by having specific NPC units that you can join or allow to work on their own such as say Republic Commandos or the 501st, tank units, things like that.
In Total War and 4X games with some tactical component the battles would take place at the same time would just be queued. But auto-resolve would be an important option to have.
Here's a thought-- what if your first/third-person PC had to engage in battle planning in the game? Jedi Guy hops off LAAT, chops up a few droids, comlink beeps, he has to pull up a map and tell Units A to take Base X, Unit B go support A... something like that. Make good decisions, win the battle. Bad decisions, your dudes die, you might lose the battle unless you Jedi-Superhero it into a victory... but you still have to tackle the next battle in the campaign and now you're down a bunch of dudes.

The trick would be the game engine/hardware. Not sure how that would be facilitated.
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Re: Why no new Star Wars RTS game? And what would you like to see?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-02-13 03:34pm

That sort of gameplay- playing a commander as a character rather than as an omniscient overview, but still being able to make command decisions, is something I'd very much like to see in more games.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Why no new Star Wars RTS game? And what would you like to see?

Post by MarxII » 2018-02-13 07:12pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-02-13 03:34pm
That sort of gameplay- playing a commander as a character rather than as an omniscient overview, but still being able to make command decisions, is something I'd very much like to see in more games.
It would also allow an interesting equalizer where one such commander could have an overwhelming advantage in units and resources, but be vulnerable to ambush from a stealthier opponent, thereby granting greater expression of the baked-in asymmetry of the OT era.

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Re: Why no new Star Wars RTS game? And what would you like to see?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-02-13 07:26pm

I've played a couple of games that were vaguely like that, although only in very broad outlines and without the depth you'd need to do Star Wars justice with such a concept. But it gives a possible starting point, at least, for discussing how such a game might be built.

Battlestations: Midway was a WWII real-time tactical game in which you could switch between controlling a specific ship or fighter or sub. in combat, and giving broad orders to the rest of your fleet on a strategic map (though it lacked any RPG character elements).

Battle for Wesnoth is a turn-based tactical game which features campaigns of generally between five and twenty scenarios, give or take. You usually have one or more leader units who can recruit more troops (and who's death is generally an instant loss condition), and you can level up individual units, often with different options for leveling up, and save up gold for recruiting, over the course of a campaign. The harder campaigns become pretty much unplayable in the later scenarios if you don't build up your resources well in the earlier ones.

Both were favorites of mine during university, and I still play the latter from time to time.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Why no new Star Wars RTS game? And what would you like to see?

Post by CetaMan » 2018-02-25 07:24pm

I honestly suggest Phoenix Rising, although the newer version is still in demo. Its a great mod with a high attention to detail and an intuitive upgrade system, changes the way space combat works by removing targetable hard points which is my one dislike. It makes ground fun though by effectively redoing it - this alone = yay.

Thrawn's Revenge is okay if your looking for something a little more Sin-like.
Republic at War is popular but has some glaring balance and unit issues.

Sorry about delay, been away for a month.

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Re: Why no new Star Wars RTS game? And what would you like to see?

Post by TheFeniX » 2018-02-26 04:40pm

I can't believe I missed this thread. No idea why PSW won't show up in my Active Topics list.
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-30 06:20pm
Well, that's the thing- I may just be displaying my relative ignorance of computers and gaming, but I don't know why you couldn't make a good console RTS. I smell a largely untapped market.
Many PC RTS have multiple different specific unit functions that pretty much require a keyboard to play effectively. To see "how it's done" for console: Halo Wars.
Zixinus wrote:
2018-01-30 06:41pm
But the bigger problem is simply creating a market and convincing console players that they'd enjoy RTS games. It's a chicken-or-egg problem that can only be solved by taking a big risk of throwing a game out there. Which is already difficult to justify when the "home" realm of PC market seems to be tapped out.
While PubG and Moba trash still dominate PC gaming, cross-plats (since they are not shit these days) have put PC on the radar of developers for more than a few years. PC can also help push longevity of these games out further. Something hard to do with crossplat RTS without a serious overhaul. Look at the differences between Diablo 3 on console vs PC and that's not even a "true" RTS.
However, personally I would like Raven software (or the designers) to continue Jedi Academy. It was a game where you most felt like a Jedi (the Force Unleashed actually feels LESS like so) and was very unique.
Comically, Raven was kicked to the curb on a new Jedi Knight game because Lucasarts said the Arena Shooter was dead and they wanted to go a different direction.

EXTREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEME JEDI ACTION direction that is with "Shitheap Jedi Unleashed" and then "Cash Grab Unleashed the shitty sequel." Spend $50 mil on marketing, $3.50 on development, shit out an uninspired mess of code, then shitcan the whole thing when it didn't meet sales expectations.

Then they finally give Lucasarts the bullet to the head it so desperately needed... and handed the reigns over to EA, who is notorious for creating rotting corpses out of other developers.
I've never played Jedi Academy, but I enjoyed the "being a Jedi" stuff in KotOR, and wish there'd been more of it.
You'd have to mod in Widescreen support and that version of the Unreal engine does not play well with higher resolutions, but the Jedi Knight series is a primer on how to do Sexy Lightsaber Action. Mysteries of the Sith may not need apply here. On the KOTOR front, your only option is to load SWTOR and level a Jedi Knight. Then possibly a Sith Warrior for the more "personal" side of what a KOTOR3 would have been.

KOTOR2 deserves a special mention here since it was also rushed and would have been 100 times better if completed. But for PC, you can actually fix it with the restoration mod. Another "this series is dead because we can't make a good game" business-executive cockup. The Gray Jedi shit was dumb, but at least it was interesting.
Vendetta wrote:
2018-01-31 06:46am
The decline of RTS games have basically nothing to do with consoles and everything to do with the rise of the MOBA genre.
If it ain't MOBA trash, then it's Diablo clones. Divinity gets a shout-out for being more like Neverwinter Nights because those guys have balls.

Also, RTS gets the shaft because no one can code a decent AI that doesn't rely on uber-cheats.
Zixinus wrote:
2018-01-31 09:36am
You should, if you like FPS. Jedi Academy managed to do well (mostly) in terms of combat mechanics: if you ever wanted to battle stormtroopers, this is the game. A lightsabre felt like a lightsabre, being able to cut things severely and even leave melting marks. The powers felt more your own. You had conventional FPS games with lots of guns, but for the most part it was easier and best to play while wielding a lightsabre. Be warned that the mechanics are not refined to perfection, especially the lightsabre-to-lightsabre combat, but it played uniquely and in many ways better than Force Unleashed (where the lightsabre felt like just a glowing stick, even the Lego games felt better than that).
Still though, Jedi Knight had some sick AI for the time. Outcast is, thematically better than Academy IMHO. But Academy cleaned up the lightsaber combat quite a bit.

g_sabermorerealistic

EDIT: Shit, not the Unreal engine. IdTech/Quake. Jesus FeniX, get it together man.

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