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Examining the Beginnings of the RTS Genre

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the more-vespene-gas dept.

Real Time Strategy (Games) 135

Edge Magazine is running a story about the development of the real-time strategy genre. They credit Dune II: the Building of a Dynasty with establishing the basic concepts that led to more popular titles like Command & Conquer and the original Warcraft. "[Westwood Studios co-founder Brett] Sperry describes Dune II's core challenge as 'combining combat, exploration and production at a particular pace and rhythm to make it all exciting and almost out of control. That was a key part of what made it so addictive.' Indeed, the experience was quite unlike more staid turnbased strategies, where success or failure rolled in slowly rather than rushing over sand dunes at the speed of an action game. 'You had to think and respond fairly quickly, and in realtime, or else your base and forces would all be overrun. And as we developed the game further, it became clearer how the pacing and battle scenario design were all a delicate balance.'"

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civilisation (-1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26072857)

civilisation started it all for me. I wrote a RTS that was basically civilisation in real time before Dune II came out. It was a logical step.

Re:civilisation (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26073087)

[citation needed]

Re:civilisation (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073207)

I'll give you a copy of the code if I can find it.

I was called grass lands, I wrote it when I was 15 at school and I'm now 32, only got played by friends at school.
Basically you build up a city and army and sent your army across to attack the opponents city. Which is exactly what a RTS is.

Re:civilisation (4, Insightful)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073695)

Basically you build up a city and army and sent your army across to attack the opponents city. Which is exactly what a RTS is.

No offense, I'm not singling you out, but that is exactly the kind of attitude that has made the RTS genre utterly stagnant for so many years. A game like Pikmin [wikipedia.org] makes most other RTSes look creatively bankrupt. There is so much room for innovation in the genre, but nobody seems to have the vision or intestinal fortitude to break the mold and move forward in new and interesting ways. Most RTSes feel like Dune 2.5 next to Pikmin. Shigeru Miyamoto looked at everything that all RTSes have in common and determined that those were the features that needed the most change in order to create a truly new game experience. I wish more developers would adopt that sort of design mindset, a philosophy which in retrospect seems incredibly obvious. Yet year after year, across all genres, we only see tiny incremental refinements of preexisting games because most mainstream developers refuse to embrace risk.

Re:civilisation (2, Informative)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 5 years ago | (#26074123)

Savage 2 [wikipedia.org] always seemed very interesting and rather inventive, combining RTS with FPS, but I'm not much of a gamer and have never really gotten into the game. Can anyone here who has played it regularly comment? (It has a native Linux client.)

Re:civilisation (1)

ThatGuyJon (1299463) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077139)

It's a good game; from an FPS perspective.

However, the one problem with the RTS side is that you are commanding real people. These real people will get frustrated with you if you're still learning, will go off and do their own thing if they don't have confidence in you, and are generally more difficult to control.

On the other side, when it DOES all go amazingly to plan, your troops will love you forever.

Re:civilisation (1)

tyroney (645227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077217)

If the game has finally settled on a combat system, (it's been overhauled twice,) and if you can ignore some of the community or play with friends, Savage 2 is a very fun game.

Re:civilisation (1)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077717)

I've been playing first Savage and now Savage 2 every now and then, great for a quick battle.

You have to compare Savage 2 to the original Savage, and although the graphics have gotten much better the gameplay hasn't changed a lot. Which is good in a way, but the additions are evolutionary, not revolutionary.

The original Savage however was truly original, as this combination of RTS and FPS hadn't been done before. It makes you think how the combination of game genres could lead to other original enjoyable games.

Re:civilisation (1)

Reapy (688651) | more than 5 years ago | (#26079063)

Before savage was "Allegiance" a rts / space flight combat game with an enormous learning curve. I believe allegiance is also freeware and is worth taking a look at if you like that style of game.

Re:civilisation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26075203)

Never played much pikmin, but i think you fail to say it's an RTS.

it's as much RTS as the three viking game [wikipedia.org] .

Re:civilisation (2, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075725)

Yet year after year, across all genres, we only see tiny incremental refinements of preexisting games because most mainstream developers refuse to embrace risk.

And because gamers don't want something different. We want the same game (roughly), not a "truly new game experience".

Re:civilisation (1)

Hausenwulf (956554) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075833)

Pikmin sounds like it has more in common with Lemmings rather than any rts game.

Also, it's almost impossible for games to break out of their genre mold these days. Companies would rather follow a proven formula that leads to a mediocre game than risk failure to produce something truly new.

Re:civilisation (1)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 5 years ago | (#26078749)

Impossible and chicken-shit are not the same thing. 80% of all commercial releases fail. Monumental risk is already there no matter what kind of game you make. Why not make something that distinguishes you from the crowd? Personally, I'd rather fail making something different, than fail where others have succeeded.

And Pikmin is nothing like Lemmings (or Three Vikings mentioned elsewhere). It has far more in common with traditional RTSes like Age of Empires.

Pikmin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077049)

Yes, it is shear genius how the man can "cloak" an established genre so well that it becomes unrecognizable [as an RTS]. (No that's not sarcasm)

Not to mention the genius of making it work with a gamepad as controller!

Gardening (1)

Gertlex (722812) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077055)

Actually I'm pretty sure that Miyamoto was growing a lot of hallucinogenic cacti and other wacky flora in his garden prior to coming up with the concept for Pikmin.

Um, duh? (1)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 5 years ago | (#26072865)

TFA sounds more like; "Yeah, there was this really cool game a long time ago that did it right. Most of you probably never heard of it, so we are more 'leet' the you. It rocked! We hope we can do the same thing now, but better."

Yes Dune2 was kick-ass. (It still is too!) Most RTS now depend on who builds the most grunts the quickest, wins. That removes the whole 'S'trategy aspect of the game.

Re:Um, duh? (1)

Hinhule (811436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26072927)

Very true.

Personaly I think Company of heroes took RTS to the next level with squads and cover. That said, t still needs some more balancing, but overall it's pretty good.

Re:Um, duh? (1)

JonathanBoyd (644397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076993)

Company of Heroes wasn't the first RTS to use squads and cover. The Close Combat series was using it close to a decade ago, to great effect, along with limited supply of ammunition and a morale system.

Re:Um, duh? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077511)

Yeah but sometimes things need to be stripped out (like ammo and complex morale systems) to make it approachable again. When you see a later product take some of your ideas and become huge with them (while you didn't) perhaps you should have designed them better.

Re:Um, duh? (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073571)

Most of you probably never heard of it, so we are more 'leet' the you. It rocked!

I played the heck out of Dune2 in college. Woohoo! I'm finally 1337!

Re:Um, duh? (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075749)

I played the heck out of Dune2 in college. Woohoo! I'm finally 1337!

Finally? Don't you understand, grasshopper? You were 1337 all along!

Re:Um, duh? (1)

badasscat (563442) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075993)

TFA sounds more like; "Yeah, there was this really cool game a long time ago that did it right. Most of you probably never heard of it, so we are more 'leet' the you. It rocked! We hope we can do the same thing now, but better."

I'm not sure who they're even "leeting", because if you check around, there are countless articles going back years talking about Dune II's influence on the RTS genre. This is more like a "hey, let's look at a Wikipedia page [wikipedia.org] and ape it for some page views" article. There's never been any mystery about where the RTS genre came from.

Yes Dune2 was kick-ass. (It still is too!) Most RTS now depend on who builds the most grunts the quickest, wins. That removes the whole 'S'trategy aspect of the game.

Dune (1) was pretty kick-ass too, and it always gets forgotten in these discussions - it actually introduced most of the concepts credited to Dune II. It just wasn't real-time as I remember. But it had the resource-gathering and the army-building and whatnot. I used to love watching the progress of the battles, with a little arm-wrestling icon representing who was winning :)

I agree about modern RTS's, which I can't even play online. I prefer playing them offline where I can play at my own pace.

Re:Um, duh? (2, Interesting)

Richard Steiner (1585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076395)

I agree about modern RTS's, which I can't even play online. I prefer playing them offline where I can play at my own pace.

That's why I love playing Spring -- you can pause a single-player game against AIs in midstream, spend several minutes scanning the map from all angles and queueing up orders, and then let it fly again.

Not only does it slow the pace down, but it helps to negate some of the reaction speed advantage that the AI players have. You can stop at any point and analyze the situation in great detail. :-)

Both Spring (and the game which inspired it, Total Annihilation) allow for enough automation and order queueing even in real-time to remove some of the micromanagement from the game. Makes the game a lot less hectic to run than most RTS games I've played -- it's nice to have units which already have orders to patrol a certain route, attack anything within range, and repair themselves automagically w/o my intervention, and they can be set up to do all of the above as part of a repeating build queue.

Re:Um, duh? (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077323)

I'll have to check that out. I've not played any RTS since Dune II, mainly because I found the idea that my units would not be able to patrol a route, engage whatever they find, notify me about said engagement, and return home incredibly frustrating - like the stage of Civilization (the original one) just before your spaceship lands, when you spend all your time selling off city walls or some such. I gave up when I realized I couldn't possibly be everywhere at once, but the AI could.

Re:Um, duh? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077933)

I just realised The Settlers could be counted as an RTS, but it's the only one I've ever enjoyed. It did ultimately involve destroying your opponents as there wasn't much else to do after setting up your villages, but the game itself was just fun. I haven't ever really enjoyed any other RTSes. I prefer to be working on something directly rather than managing other entities. Having said that I enjoyed Operation Flashpoint where you basically worked up from a grunt to being a general with tanks and infantry squads at your command, but only because you still got to take part in the action.

Re:Um, duh? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077083)

"Most RTS now depend on who builds the most grunts the quickest, wins"
That only works when everyione is trying to rush.

A proper defence is the correct startegy to use when playing people like that.

That's why I find it funny when people think a 'zerg rush' is the only strategy to use in Star Craft.
I just giggle while I watch there resources get sucked up.

It's natural to fall into that trap. My 10 year old son, and 8 year old daughter have just started playing and try that as well. They get a little frustrated when the game usese it against them and wins, but it doesn't work when they try it against me.

I ahve coached them about preparing a defense strategy that lends itself to a good offense later.

Re:Um, duh? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077575)

Does the game really rush or does it just play on a tight schedule and a player who's not doing the same ends up being overwhelmed by the enemy force while he's floating huge amounts of resources or has reached late tech tiers with no units to show for it? That's what I see with most players who scream "rush", they just don't do things fast enough and end up getting steamrolled by a regular attack because they are so behind on production and everything.

Re:Um, duh? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26078083)

And how long does it take you to build that proper defense? If you aren't building as fast as you can click, are you actually prepared when they swarm in?

No, Zerg Rush isn't the only strategy. However, raw speed of micromanaging is a necessary component -- until you have that, it's very difficult to win on strategy alone.

Re:Um, duh? (2, Interesting)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077435)

That's one part of the macro, obviously more troops = better. The other parts are when you get what troops since tanks aren't going to do you a whole lot of good when the enemy is going with helicopters, how you plan to develop your economy (invest a lot, possibly reaping huge growth but also being left defenseless if your enemy attacks before you got your econ going?), when you attack (try to off the enemy with an early attack but be pretty much fucked if he defends? Run a raid on one end of the map and while his forces move back go in and wreck the main?), etc. There's also the micro part that many weaker players revile so much because they want "more strategy, not a clickfest" but micro is what enables tactics which are the real reason the RT is in RTS. Encircle? Blow a hole into the enemy phalanx and rush to his heavy fire support in the back? Toss some special weapons in the right place to disable a lot of his firepower or try to deny him the ability to do so himself? Micro is what makes combat more than just numbers and rock-paper-scissors, it lets a skilled player use that skill even once the battle has started.

Re:Um, duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077707)

I've been looking for a RTS that leaves out the building part. I'd rather a game where you have a fixed force (perhaps a chance for limited reinforcments later) to deal with the enemy.

I remember a game based on the Battle of Gettysburg where you couldn't just rely on building more and more forces to replace your losses.

Re:Um, duh? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26078037)

This attitude really comes through about two seconds in:

But going back to Dune II today is an eye-opening experience, as it becomes clear how very little the genre has moved forwards in the last 16 years â" like finding out Halo had really been released in 1982.

It was released in 1993 -- as Doom. And Dune II wasn't 1982, it was 1992, only one year before Doom.

Granted, there have been significant improvements in gameplay and visuals since then -- there's no equivalent to Halo's melee weapons, or melee use of a weapon -- but the fundamentals are the same.

That's also true of Dune II, if I remember -- Starcraft is years ahead of it, if only for the ability to select multiple units at once and direct them at a target -- better AI helps, too.

I don't think you can really say, though, that Starcraft 2 is that much farther ahead of Dune II than Halo 3 is ahead of Doom.

The first RTS I saw was on Atari 800 in like 1983 (4, Insightful)

greggman (102198) | more than 5 years ago | (#26072957)

There was an RTS on the Atari 800

(yes, REALTIME not turn based)

http://www.atarimania.com/zoom_frame.php?TYPE_IMG=D7&ID=1143&MENU=8&NUM_IMAGE=1 [atarimania.com]

Re:The first RTS I saw was on Atari 800 in like 19 (1)

Quantus347 (1220456) | more than 5 years ago | (#26074025)

It definitely seems like a strategy game in real-time. But Im not sure it has any of the other characteristics typically associated with an RTS, notably any sort of production to pace the game.

Re:The first RTS I saw was on Atari 800 in like 19 (1)

amadeusb4 (531146) | more than 5 years ago | (#26074083)

1988 saw the release of Modem Wars for the C64 and DOS. Most of the elements of RTS were there as well as network play.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modem_Wars [wikipedia.org]

xbattle (1)

emj (15659) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075213)

Unix has, XBattle RTS released in 1991 [wikipedia.org] networking by using X11.

Re:The first RTS I saw was on Atari 800 in like 19 (2, Informative)

mzs (595629) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075935)

Yes and my wife and I both played Cytron Masters an even earlier game on an Atari. I looked it up in Wikipedia and it is listed as RTS. Someone below mentions Modem Wars and that was definitely RTS. It is so often that these origins types of articles completely miss the earlier examples.

memory lane (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26072981)

now expect a dozen comments here about how someone loved playing game X a long while ago.

Laser Squad (1)

DoChEx (558465) | more than 5 years ago | (#26072989)

enough said!

Re:Laser Squad (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073067)

1) Turn based, not realtime
2) Merely a very nice follow-up to the Gollop Brothers' Rebelstar, surely?

Re:Laser Squad (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073291)

Maybe Laser Squad is the father of XCOM, then?

Herzog Zwei (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26073041)

Stonkers, on the ZX Spectrum in 1984 was also RTS.

However, the 'modern' RTS genre (where production as well as combat was critical) probably started with Herzog Zwei on the Megadrive. Even the graphics style was carried forward through to Command & Conquer et.al.

Re:Herzog Zwei (1)

BoberFett (127537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076063)

Herzog Zwei is oft overlooked because it was on a console instead of a PC, but it's an amazing game even to this day. When my friends and I were in high school we would play HZ for hours on end, mocking one another as we captured a base. Ah, the memories...

Was an OK game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26073095)

Nothing to go ape-shit over. Turn-based is better. X-Com was far superior gaming experience.

Re:Was an OK game (2, Interesting)

Mprx (82435) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073661)

X-Com is much less fun once you've memorized all enemy routes and spawn points and know how to exploit the AI. Multiplayer is always better, and multiplayer is more fun when you don't have to wait for the other player to finish his turn.

Re:Was an OK game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26074469)

Then rememorize it.

http://xcomutil.scotttjones.com/

Won't fix the AI, but it gives you more variety.

Re:Was an OK game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077999)

X-Com is much less fun once you've memorized all enemy routes and spawn points and know how to exploit the AI.

I see. The approach I adopted was to not memorise all the enemy routes and spawn points - other than ruining the game for myself, why would I want to do such a thing? Don't know much about exploiting the AI either but I guess that's the sort of thing you might pick up without trying to.

C&C FTW! (4, Interesting)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073155)

The original C&C was huge though not just for gameplay, but because it was one of the first games to use full-screen video, you could play as the baddies or goodies (each with their own very distinct units), had an awesome soundtrack, and to this day had the best setup program ever!

Oh, and for the NOD missions you could choose your ending.

They don't make them like they used to!

Re:C&C FTW! (1)

Goobermunch (771199) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073677)

It was also very much based on Dune II.

--AC

Re:C&C FTW! (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073815)

Although C&C added some features that made it a massive improvement over Dune 2. For instance, you could hold your mouse button down to draw a rectangle on the screen to select a group of units. Units would also tend to fight back when shot at without explicit operator intervention. Dune 2 (was there ever a Dune 1?) had some great elements, but the interface was terrible really. That's why so few people remember it, it was a game that had the makings of a great game, but lacked the polish to be a superstar. Westwood didn't make a usable interface until C&C.

Re:C&C FTW! (1)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073923)

Dune 2 was a great game. There was a Dune I, but I believe it was more of an adventure type game (I never played it). I played and beat Dune 2. Yeah, the controls weren't the best, and the graphics were horrid. I was really glad when Westwood re-released Dune 2 as Dune 2000. It was basically Dune 2 with the C&C/Red Alert engine. It really made the game a lot easier. But I can tell you this, there wouldn't be a C&C without Dune 2.

Re:C&C FTW! (1)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 5 years ago | (#26074127)

Dune was an awesome adventure/strategy game. Combat was strategic rather than tactical however, and turn based. It also had the best MIDI game music ever produced... sounding by far the best on a Soundblaster.

Re:C&C FTW! (1)

raynet (51803) | more than 5 years ago | (#26074425)

I recall that in Dune II it was only the Harkonnen forces did fight back when shot, it was one of their specialities.

Re:C&C FTW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26078815)

No, all units of all houses would fire back in the (default) Guard mode. That's how e.g. Siege tanks could support the Rocket Turrets with defending your base.

Re:C&C FTW! (1)

raynet (51803) | more than 5 years ago | (#26079079)

But I think the Harkonnen forces did something more agressive, was it perhaps shooting at worms on sight or something.

Re:C&C FTW! (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077571)

That's why so few people remember it, it was a game that had the makings of a great game, but lacked the polish to be a superstar.

Dune II was one of the few games back in the day that I actually had the interest to finish. I have to say that and Star Control 2 are two of the most memorable games from that era. Yes, C&C did improve on things in a number of areas but they were more of an evolution on Dune II's elements.

And I thought that so few remembered it because they weren't born yet. And with that, my lawn is now fair game for kids to trample...

Re:C&C FTW! (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073881)

I have to agree, C&C is my favourite RTS of all time. Nothing has ever really come close, I don't think you can pinpoint one thing that made that game stand out it was everything, from the effects of the napalming A10s and the obelisks of light to the pleasing explosions of grenadiers to awesomeness of getting your first mammoth tanks.

I think it was immersive, more so than most games of it's era- the music and video as you saw managed to draw you into the rythm of the game really effectively, the missions were fun, the units were superb.

It's just a shame no Command and Conquer series game since has come close bar the original Red Alert, which whilst not as good was still excellent. I suppose Generals deserves a worthy mention- it was pretty decent as an RTS, it just wasn't really in line with the rest of the C&C games storywise.

I recently got Red Alert 3, what an utter dissapointment- how can a franchise created with much lower budgets, much older technology end up looking and playing so horrifically bad with units that are outright comical.

From what I can see the C&C franchise has made one major mistake- they've gone too futuristic, C&C and Red Alert certainly had fantasy/futuristic units but they weren't the majority. I think it was the A10s, the M113s, the Abrams and so forth on C&C that made it, similarly with Red Alert, there was a lot of fairly real units in there. This is possibly also why Generals was the only modern C&C game to not be too bad.

God only knows why in Red Alert 3 everything is make believe and looks so childish and cartoonish it seems better suited to a kids TV show like Jimbo and the Jet set for anyone that remembers that show in the UK. For those that don't, check here or on YouTube:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimbo_and_the_Jet_Set [wikipedia.org]

Outside of the C&C series, Warcraft games have always been good and I thought Warcraft 3's storyline at the time was pretty impressive. Blizzard at least know how to continue a franchise and keep it consistently good unlike EA/Westwood with C&C games.

Re:C&C FTW! (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 5 years ago | (#26074169)

Red Alert 2 was pretty good too. But EA for the most part screwed over the franchise. Even Generals was mediocre compared to the Westwood games. Red Alert 3, I have no idea - not even worth my time playing the demo.

Re:C&C FTW! (2, Interesting)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26074173)

Actually, to be brutally honest with you, the only other game that knocked me nearly as flat as the first glorious C&C sessions has been Generals Zero Hour (which perfected the vanilla generals).

Generals ZH was all about battle gameplay though; it had really well thought-out units that were few enough that complete n00bs could get into a LAN game without too much confusion, and again each side was distinct, but this time that the generals had different strategy emphasis which added lot's to the game-play style. My only problem would be the super-weapons general had a massive massive advantage if the limit super-weapons was not set.
C&C3 & RA3 in my opinion are prettier versions that just don't add anything to the Generals new take on the C&C direction.

But anyway, back to the original; no game has since topped that first experience all-round C&C experience; I'll never forget my first human on human battle using the serial ports and one huge cable I bought specifically for it...having all the tech at once was worth it alone.

And how could I forget.....the surprise crates (money bonus/see all map/tiberian monster/etc)! Ah man, what a game; no other RTS has inspired so much joy and happy memories as this one, and for so many reasons.

Re:C&C FTW! (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 5 years ago | (#26074185)

Actually I rather disliked generals - I thought the 'income' mechanic didn't really work very well, in a game where tech and superweapons scale so rapidly.

Red Alert 3 was something of a disappointment, but for me primarily just because it didn't have enough depth to it. Game was finished in a weekend or so, which really is unsatisfying.

Re:C&C FTW! (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 5 years ago | (#26074285)

Personally, besides the points you mentioned, I think Generals really stands out for the skirmish mode. On most other C&C titles the skirmish mode was pretty bad, with a particularly nasty AI even at the easiest levels. With Generals you could tone it down until you got used to it and then start cranking it up to get a real challenge. Having a real difference between the way you had to play with each faction also helped quite a bit (and the expansion made good use of this with the inclusion of the choice of Generals for specialization).

I never really got into Warcraft 3, despite loving the previous games in the series. I never really got the hang of the changes they made to the system, though I may give it another try since I don't have a system that can really handle more recent PC games. I watched some videos of matches from BlizzCon (initially I went to the website to watch the Starcraft 2 matches, but ended up watching a few other videos as well) and liked the way the game flowed, though obviously those are much better players than most.

Re:C&C FTW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26073909)

Full screen video is widely despised in games. Not something I would list under "reasons C&C was great."

Re:C&C FTW! (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26074247)

In the days when the next best thing most people were playing was QBASIC monkey.bas, full screen video was a big deal.

Now far less so, but still, it definitely added to the immersive nature of the game at the time.

Re:C&C FTW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26074181)

Not even close on the first game to use Full Screen Video. That'd been around for years, heck if you include Dragons Lair, it'd been around since 1983.

Re:C&C FTW! (2, Informative)

Surreal Puppet (1408635) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075481)

You can choose the GDI ending too. If you destroy everything in the last GDI mission but the Temple of NOD and then raze it with an ion cannon strike, you get the secret "canonical" ending. Otherwise you get the boring ending.

Re:C&C FTW! (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075699)

True! Wow, I can't think of a single game that's had incorporated so much greatness!

Herzog Zwei anyone? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26073279)

That is the granddaddy

Re:Herzog Zwei anyone? (1)

skam240 (789197) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073849)

Yeah, I played this one. I think what the article is going at though is the beginnings of the modern "base building, exploration, military conquest" RTS genre, played from a god like perspective which is what allot of people think of when they think RTS. Herzog Zwei really only had the military conquest part of this although it did do this very well for the period. Plus the interface was radically different then the target sub genre of RTS' the article is getting at where in Herzog Zwei you interacted with the world through a single unit which issued orders to everything else. Kind of a cool way to have the game play run but sadly I don't think it had any lasting influence.

Re:Herzog Zwei anyone? (1)

j33pn (1049772) | more than 5 years ago | (#26074321)

I still have a functioning copy Herzog. My 6 year-old was playing with my old Genesis over the summer, so I've actually played it in the last year. That game has intense PvP.

It's definitely an RTS, even if you control the main unit on the board directly. I'd say it's more similar to the C&C style games than it is different. Most of the differences are b/c it's a console game instead of PC. You get money by taking over mini-bases, make and command units, and win by destroying the enemies base.

Dune 2 was an awesome game. Every time I play a modern C&C game, I always lament the absence of the Dune-style transports. It was so rewarding to watch them fly your harvesters around the board.

Re:Herzog Zwei anyone? (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075221)

I have my original copy I played long ago. It had supply trucks to restock ammo and some good AI to govern how they pathed around to supply low turrets and such. Dune2/C&C harvesters exhibited a simpler version of the AI, looking for their appropriate fields and returning.

Dune II Spice vs C&C Tiberium... (3, Insightful)

aapold (753705) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073309)

I had played Dune II on the Amiga, I think the biggest difference between that and later games is you had to click over on the actions buttons ("attack", "move", etc) instead of it being context-based on what you clicked on next (e.g., enemy = attack, ground = move to).

But in terms of influence the second I played C&C I felt that their whole concept of the Tiberium resource was taken directly from the Spice in Dune II. It almost even looked similar...

Re:Dune II Spice vs C&C Tiberium... (1)

SQL Error (16383) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073843)

Dune II was awesome until you got clobbered by those goddam ornithopters. Never did work out the right tactics for that one scenario.

Re:Dune II Spice vs C&C Tiberium... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26074353)

If it wasn't for a spelling mistake in the original data files, you could have built ornithopters (or "ornithipters") yourself from advanced tech or starport buildings.

I think that's why a lot of people grew up to be grammar Nazis.

Re:Dune II Spice vs C&C Tiberium... (1)

eniacfoa (1203466) | more than 5 years ago | (#26074193)

yeah man, ill never forget playing dune II for the 1st time on my amiga 500...i think it was the 1st time i stayed up all nite till dawn playing video games... and yeah, c&c was a ripoff no doubt...

Re:Dune II Spice vs C&C Tiberium... (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#26074767)

and yeah, c&c was a ripoff [of Dune II] no doubt...

How could C&C possibly be a ripoff when Westwood created both games? Dune II was their first effort. C&C perfected their entry into the genre. If anything, Warcraft was the rip-off.

Re:Dune II Spice vs C&C Tiberium... (1)

mobets (101759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075905)

At least the computer in Warcraft didn't cheat.

In every C&C I can remember:
Computer: Missile launch detected.
Me: But he hasn't even found me yet.
*Power generators destroyed*

Re:Dune II Spice vs C&C Tiberium... (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 5 years ago | (#26074333)

But in terms of influence the second I played C&C I felt that their whole concept of the Tiberium resource was taken directly from the Spice in Dune II. It almost even looked similar...

Yeah, that happens quite a bit when the same people are involved in making the games, especially when they turn around from Dune II and make C&C right after it.

Re:Dune II Spice vs C&C Tiberium... (1)

Fanro (130986) | more than 5 years ago | (#26074505)

The bigest difference was that you could only select one unit at a time.

I remember the physical pain caused by ordering a larger group of tanks to attack

"You (click on top of screen) go (click on left of screen) there (click on botton of screen)" x 20 for each move

Re:Dune II Spice vs C&C Tiberium... (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#26074757)

With one improvement: You could let Tiberium mutate trees so that those mutant trees would become an infinite source of Tiberium. Other than the pre-created spice blows, there was no way to mine more spice, so I often waited until the enemy ran out of money.

Re:Dune II Spice vs C&C Tiberium... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26076699)

Duh, same developer.

Thank goodness for Dune 2 (1)

dtolman (688781) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073359)

If I hadn't played that game, and hated the gameplay style when it first came out - I would have wasted hours and hours playing all its game-play clones.

The only RTSes that I've ever liked, were the ones that took cues for Dune 2's predecessor - Crescent Hawk Revenge... those being Mechcommander and Mechcommander 2. Real time play with no resources to worry about. Just units. And salvaged units between missions.

Actually scratch that - I did like Sins of a Solar Empire. But that one is dune 2 crossed with civ... and requires actual strategy... so does that count?

Re:Thank goodness for Dune 2 (1)

Reapman (740286) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075693)

I just had to respond since I've never met anyone else that's ever played Crescent Hawks Revenge... that was an amazing game, especially for it's time. Although a part of me actually wished it was more Turn Based style :p

Re:Thank goodness for Dune 2 (3, Interesting)

dtolman (688781) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076661)

One of the benefits of PC gaming is that, assuming you keep your mitts on all your bits, you can whip out old games and replay them years later. I did a full replay of CH:R about 10 years ago, and did a partial replay 2 years ago. I'm actually working my way though mechcomander 1/expansion/2 right now... great games. Always loved the whole idea of battlefield salvage as your primary resource, not to mention the fun in mixing-matching-and customizing mechs.

Also - you're right that its a shame about the real time. To this date the ONLY turn based AAA battletech title ever released was the Crescent Hawks Inception - a fantastic RPG/tactical wargame hybrid - one that I replay much more often than its sequel.

Re:Thank goodness for Dune 2 (1)

Reapman (740286) | more than 5 years ago | (#26078705)

Damn you, now I'm going to have to fire both of those up and replay them! :p

Additive (1)

Mutant321 (1112151) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073389)

Dune II was probably the first game I was truly addicted too... first I pulled all nighters playing anyway.

There may have been previous real-time strategy games, but this was certainly the one that got the genre started. Not long after that, Blizzard released what was essentially a fantasy clone of Dune II with Warcraft. And once C&C and Warcraft II kicked in with online multi-player, the genre was huge.

Nether Earth (1)

azgard (461476) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073541)

I call bullshit. There was a game Nether Earth on ZX Spectrum, which was real-time strategy game, and had all the concepts as Dune 2, and even more.

In the game, you could build your own robots, you needed to capture factories to get parts for the robots, and you could even send robots to a mission and they worked by themselves depending on the orders you gave them. All this in 48kB of memory in 1985.

Herzog Twei (4, Insightful)

Zwets (645911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073553)

Herzog Zwei [wikipedia.org] came before Dune II.

Re:Herzog Twei (1)

dtolman (688781) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076941)

Utopia came out long before that on the Intellivision console. And Ancient Art of War (plus its sequels) came out soon afterwards on the PC.

Re:Herzog Twei (3, Interesting)

Madsy (1049678) | more than 5 years ago | (#26078571)

Herzog Zwei rocks, and I still occasionally play it. It's kind of strange that no one has taken the concept further. To play as a unit instead of using a mouse is ingenious. And would fit perfectly on today's TV consoles as well. Sounds like a nice little XNA project to me.

Empires mod RTS/FPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26073913)

I want to plug one of my favorite mods, it's called Empires and it's a mod for Half Life 2
It's a RTS/FPS and it's a lot of fun.
In some ways it has more depth to it than the old Battlefield series, but it feels a bit unfinished ATM.
Seriously check it out and the new version should be coming out soon.

See also (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26073941)

Team Yankee (1990)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team_Yankee_(video_game)

and

Powermonger (1990)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powermonger

though the former is really real-time first-person squad combat a la Space Hulk.

C&C 1 is free (3, Informative)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | more than 5 years ago | (#26074459)

I just thought this was a good time to remind people that for the 12th aniversary, Westwood started giving away C&C I gold edition free. I can't find the download on their website any more, but gamespot [gamespot.com] has it mirrored.

Herzog Zwei (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26074935)

A quick Googling shows that it came out 2 years before Dune 2. It is also the game most listed in the gaming world as the founder of RTS.

Well, time to Google Edge Magazine and see if in their history of heavier than air flight they list the DC 3 as the plane that started it all.

Re:Herzog Zwei (1)

jmauro (32523) | more than 5 years ago | (#26078599)

If you read the article it covers this point. Herzog Zwei was the first "real-time", but in the current genre of RTS is pretty much defined by Dune II. Warcraft, StarCraft, and C&C are just pretty graphic versions of Dune II with different units.

Battletech: The Crescent Hawk's Revenge (1989) (1)

AntiOrganic (650691) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075201)

In 1989, Westwood released a little-known game called "Battletech: The Crescent Hawk's Revenge." This game developed a lot of the ideas that would later be polished in Dune 2 and, in my opinion, deserves more credit for really kicking off the genre than Dune 2 does: Dune 2 really just took the same ideas and refined them into a more successful game.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BattleTech:_The_Crescent_Hawk's_Revenge [wikipedia.org]

Re:Battletech: The Crescent Hawk's Revenge (1989) (1)

Absimiliard (59853) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077277)

And a damn fun game it was as well.

That said I found it incredibly difficult. Some of the scenarios I had to play like 5 times to get through.

But for a Battletech fan that game just rocked.

Re:Battletech: The Crescent Hawk's Revenge (1989) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077545)

Well, in a way. It's more of the first RTT game (Real Time Tactical). It also featured awesome things like dynamic missions (Didn't kill that mech in the first mission? It comes back in the 3rd, etc.)

It's gameplay is almost exactly like Mechcommander, just on a grid. And fugly. Yes, I love this game with a passion, but it's fugly as hell.

Battletech RTS (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076595)

In the early 90's Infocom released the Crescent Hawk's Revenge. It was an RTS, no resource harvesting or manufacturing but it played out in real-time as you moved your units around and shot at stuff. Extremely primitive by today's standards but fun back in the day. That game royally kicked my ass.

Z and Z:Steel Soldiers (Bitmap Brothers) (1)

ZERO1ZERO (948669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26078937)

I never really got into the whole RTS thing, I tried to play C+C back in the day but the whole thing just seemed so... boring. Drawn out. Anyway the one game that did get me paying was Z. This game was so much more immediate, a round would last maybe up to an hour. The way the resources were auto managed depending on which zones were captured meant you could concentrate on micro managing the troops to win the level.

Excellent multiplayer action with network play was really addictive as well. These games could last a lot longer as a human was always a better opponent.

The second version out in around 200 or so added 3D graphics and was good to play as well, but it suffered from a lot of AI bugs and things IIRC, and to be honest I never actually completed that game.

Another RTS game I am reminded of was Total Annihilation. Never really got into that either but my friend would play it constantly and it was a good game to spectate.

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