I’ve been playing Real Time Strategy (RTS) games for about 10 months now. Thanks to a former coworker, I started playing Starcraft 2 (SC2). Thanks to Daniel Lewis, I also recently started playing Lord of Ultima (LoU).
Both of these games have multiple processes going on at once, and good game play requires adequate attention be given where needed; i.e., a good combo of micro-management and macro-management. For example, in StarCraft 2 you have to get your economy up and going at the beginning. Once you get that going well, you begin building the rest of your base and your battle forces. Eventually, you go in for the attack. At every step you have to make sure your economy is still going strong. When you’re sending troops to attack, you have to make sure your troop production is still going.
I’ve only been playing Lord of Ultima for a couple weeks now, and yet again, timing is key. You have to get your resources going, so you build and upgrade Wood Huts, Cottages, Quarries, and Iron Mines, for example. But you only have so many build and upgrade orders you can issue at any one time, and the higher the upgrade, the longer the process will be.
Similarly, you have a recruitment cap. You can only recruit troops based on the levels of your barracks, training grounds, and other related buildings. When you want to issue commands to raid dungeons, you can specify a mix of troops, but it takes time for them to travel to and from.
It’s like building and managing community. (more…)