The next step in RTS games
Kamal Aittah
4/21/2020

The next step in RTS games

Before we dive in, we’d like to announce our second **PRE-ALPHA** version. it's going to be released this 30th of April. Join our community over at Discord to learn more.

Real-Time strategy is one, if not the main genre, that has changed the way video games are designed. It has inspired so many well known video game genres. But for some reason, the genre hasn't aged very well and I think this is due to the following reasons: -

  1. The rise of fast-paced action FPS/RPG games.
  2. The lack of evolution in the RTS formula.

Now let me focus on the second point for it is the main reason for this coma. For the past 15 years, and after the great classic titles such as Warcraft III, Age of empires II, C&C Red Alert 2, and StarCraft 2, the genre has reached its peak. That means there is but a small room for originality and creativity. The genre has taken a certain shape, and now every RTS fan expects new RTS games to be of that shape. As a result, most new RTS games felt like remakes of the classics, and most of them were not as popular. Another thing is the huge learning curve for this genre which is intimidating for new players.

"But Kamal" I hear you asking, "There're so many great and original RTS games other that the classics!". That's correct. We’ve seen some great games trying to break through the formula and creating something original while staying true to the genre such as Ancestors: Legacy, Iron Harvest, and Company of heroes. These games succeeded in making something new and original out of this genre. Yet a lot of other RTS’s still follow the same old formula that no one wants because the classics are already being remastered.

So what’s next? How do we evolve the genre into something interesting?

As RTS fans, we asked ourselves these questions, and we came up with an answer that, surprisingly, a lot of people liked and wanted to see develop into a full game. “I’m talking about Call to Valkyrie, our game!”

Call to Valkyrie ... possibly the next level of RTS!

The game has so many new ideas, but today I’ll introduce you to the settlement and recruitment system. Note, if you’re already a fan and are familiar with the idea of the game, please skip this next section ;)

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In short, the game talks about the Viking raids on the kingdom of Northumbria by the great heathen army. You play as Ivar the boneless and his brothers who’ve come to avenge their fallen father Ragnar Lodbrok. It’s a squad-based RTS game.

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So players are given a small squad at the beginning of the level. And with a fixed camera, players can’t move around except with the selected units. With a mini map in hand, they will notice multiple villages and farms and their typical objective will be to conquer the big city. Sneaking attacks as well as hit and run tactics can get them through But they're not the only option they have. They can choose to raid smaller villages and farms and occupy them; Because only then you get to use the resources of the occupied villages to turn (recruit) their peasants into warriors and grow increase your forces.

After you occupy a village, you can choose to use all the resources to increase you forces and then leave the village to burn. You can also choose to protect the village to heal your units and further use it as a strong hold for your forces. But beware, the enemy won’t stay put, and they’ll do whatever it takes to drive you out of their lands, after all … to them, you’re an invader coming from the north.

The village keeps producing peasants every now and then based on the density of the population, so you can always come back to your strong hold and recruit more troops.

It might not seem a lot at first, but with these small changes to the RTS formula, we’ve created a game where even we can’t count the ways the player can beat the game. It’s not about only managing resources and growing economy as fast as possible anymore. And it’s not only about early skirmishes and battles. And it’s definitely not about different races that counter each other. The game revolves around YOU! How do you want to achieve your goal of conquering this land with the small given forces.

It’s truly all up to you as well as on you. Because you will be responsible for every mistake. But once you outsmart the enemy and conquer their lands, we guarantee that sweet rewarding sensation found in the early RTS games. ;)


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